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Arsenal urged to try David Luiz in different role as Parlour admits error-prone defender will never learn

14:13 BST 29/06/2020
David Luiz Arsenal 2019-20
The former Gunners winger believes a Brazilian centre-back who has been handed a new deal should be tried in a holding midfield role by Mikel Arteta

Arsenal should consider using David Luiz in a midfield holding role, says Ray Parlour, with it clear that the error-prone Brazilian is “not going to learn” when used in his conventional centre-back berth.

Many expected the Gunners to sever ties with a 33-year-old defender as he approached the end of an initial year-long deal at Emirates Stadium.

Mikel Arteta has, however, opted to trigger a 12-month extension and will be keeping an enigmatic character within his squad for 2020-21.

With that call made, Arsenal must now decide how best to use a former Chelsea star who has struggled to live up to expectations in north London.

Parlour believes it would be pointless to persist with Luiz in his natural position, as costly mistakes are doing little to aid the cause of an already leaky back line.

The former Gunners star is, however, of the opinion that a man who has never seen his ball-playing ability called into question could be used as a shield in front of Arteta’s back four.

Parlour told PA Sport of a divisive figure: “He makes too many mistakes, and at 33 he is not going to learn.

“You have to look a little bit higher than David Luiz.

“He could be a squad player and you could play him as a holding midfielder.

“He has got a range of passing and you know if you make a mistake there you have centre-halves behind you, that could be a role for him.”

Arsenal do still have FA Cup glory to aim at in 2020, having booked a semi-final date in that competition with holders Manchester City, but plans are being drawn up for next season.

There will be no Champions League football on the agenda once again for a club that is preparing to spend a fourth successive campaign outside of the European elite.

Parlour believes greater ambition needs to be shown in a bid to break into the top four, with Arteta needing to be backed in upcoming transfer markets.

A three-time Premier League title winner, and member of the 2003-04 Invincibles squad, added: “Arsenal need to get back into the Champions League by spending more money and taking more of a gamble as a club.

“Arteta has done everything right so far, but now it is up to the club to back him.

“The lower you get and the more ambition the other teams get then it is going to be difficult for Arsenal to challenge again.”