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David Luiz does have “some really good qualities”, claims Mark Schwarzer, with a former Chelsea team-mate of the Brazilian defender able to appreciate why Arsenal have extended the contract of a much-maligned figure.
The Gunners only tied an experienced centre-half to a 12-month deal when luring him across London from Stamford Bridge in the summer of 2019.
That agreement did, however, include the option for a one-year extension, and said clause has now been triggered.
Many have questioned why those at Emirates Stadium are so keen to keep an error-prone performer on their books, with Luiz’s only outing since the Premier League restart seeing him suffer a red card horror show in a 3-0 defeat to Manchester City.
Schwarzer, though, believes that Arsenal are looking at a much bigger picture.
The Australian goalkeeper, who worked with Luiz at Chelsea, believes the 33-year-old is a useful character to have around the dressing room, while he is also a Premier League and Champions League winner.
"He's a great guy to have around the group," Schwarzer toldSky Sports.
"He's actually a really likeable person, he's got a great sense of humour, he's great for team morale, when things are going really well he's brilliant.
"Am I surprised he's been offered a new deal? They're obviously not basing it off the last performance. There's no doubt about that, they've been in discussions with him for a while. I think it was an activation of an extension of the contract.
"Listen, he's got some really good qualities. I know he's made some high-profile errors that have led to goals and been costly for Arsenal but when you get him right and he's mentally on song he can be a very valuable asset to the team."
Schwarzer added: "He's a likeable character within the group. I don't know many people who didn't get on with him or didn't like him.
"He's always bubbly but there's no doubt he would have been down after the game against Man City. He wears his heart on his sleeve so that would have affected him.
"I know that within the group he's generally very well liked and considered an important member of the squad in terms of morale."
Luiz accepted responsibility after undermining Arsenal’s efforts against City and has previously aired a desire to play a leading role in helping the Gunners – who have slipped to 10th in the Premier League table – back onto the trophy trail.