Arsenal have confirmed David Luiz has extended his contract until the end of next season as loanees Cedric Soares and Pablo Mari will join permanently. Dani Ceballos, on loan from Real Madrid, has also signed a short-term extension to keep him at the club until the end of the 2019-20 season. It had been widely known when Pablo Mari and Cedric Soares arrived in the final days of the January transfer window that Arsenal hoped these deals would last longer than the remaining months of this season, elongated as that proved to be. There is an argument that that proved to be astute financial management and squad planning from Edu and Raul Sanllehi. Get Mari and Cedric in midway through the season to take a long look at them on and off the pitch and make an informed judgement from there.
If the players don’t hit the grade, all that has been lost is a few million in loan fees and wages. That is not insignificant at a time when finances are severely strained but better that than commit several years to players whose fit you cannot be sure of. Inevitably coronavirus changed things beyond all measure. Cedric has not started no games for Arsenal because he is not good enough or has failed to prove himself to Arteta. He is yet to feature because his periods of fitness have coincided with the lockdown. It will not be until the visit of Norwich to the Emirates Stadium on July 1, at the earliest, that he will be fit to feature.
Cedric may well end up playing more games than fellow January addition Mari, who is out until the end of the season with damaged ankle ligaments. The three month timescale could even sideline him for next. Arteta, though, was emphatic that his mind was already made up and that his decision would not be changed after someone took a blow “defending our club”. Just great! Our former rivals are strengthening their squad and we are being the same stupid Arsenal. What a shambolic situation this club is in. Run by spineless morons.