Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Confirmed: Defensive trio sign permanent deals & Ceballos extends loan

Arsenal have confirmed the news that broke last night that permanent deals have been signed by Cedric Soares, Pablo Mari and David Luiz.

The club has also reached an agreement with Real Madrid to extend Dani Ceballos’ loan until the current campaign ends.

Soares will sign on a free transfer when his current deal with Southampton ends. He is believed to have signed a four-year deal and will provide back-up to Hector Bellerin at right-back. Having joined on loan in January, he’s not yet played due to injuries.

Pablo Mari’s loan move will also become permanent with reports in Brazil claiming the deal could cost anywhere up to €20 million, including add-ons. The centre-back has only started twice since moving from Flamengo in January and is facing a long spell on the sidelines having injured his ankle against Manchester City last week.

David Luiz’s one-year extension should have been easy to arrange but proved anything but. Signed last summer for £8 million from Chelsea, we had an option to trigger a 12-month extension, didn’t take it up and then had to spend weeks negotiating when his agent, Kia Joorabchian, pushed for a two-year deal instead. It appears to have gone to the wire with the player settling on the original terms. Many people are rightly questioning why we’ve extended his deal at all given his six-figure weekly wage packet and his erratic form in an Arsenal shirt.

Keeping Ceballos for another couple of months certainly makes sense in the current circumstances. With our midfield decimated, he’s getting regular game time. That said, he’s going to have to turn into Patrick Vieira for us to consider buying him outright. There’s a big price on his head and he’s not done anything near enough to justify it.

Speaking about the deal, technical director Edu said: “I am really happy that we will have these players in our squad for the future. They have been part of the long-term technical plan Mikel and I have developed. They bring the right balance to our squad.

“David is a really important player for us. He has played most of our matches this season and has been important for the team. His passing, his communication with the team on and off the pitch. He helps everyone.

“With Pablo we’re all disappointed he got injured at Manchester City. Since Mikel arrived here he was asking for a central defender who was left-footed. We were really pleased with Pablo – his behaviour, the way he is training, his mentality and his quality. Unfortunately, he has that injury but of course, we are really happy to keep him for the future.

“Cedric is also going to be an important player. He has been unlucky with the injuries but he is close to being ready and gives us more strength in the right-back position. We’re also pleased Dani will finish the season here. He is making a good contribution and we look forward to him having a strong finish to the season.”


For more on how these deals have come about and what they mean for our club, check out Blogs’ latest post.

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Our beloved club has indeed become a joke


After publicly saying he wants Luiz and Cedric to stay, no more “poor Arteta, he’s doing his best with what he inherited…” He owns it, warts and all. Accountability starts now.


Bollocks – I imagine all clubs with no sugar daddy like city and Chelsea are looking at the transfer window and shitting themselves… lack of funds, uncertain costs of players. I’m not saying we should keep Louis, but I can see the logic in having numbers in a department that is under performing… and it’s only for a year, and worth Saliba coming back from his loan, there should be lots of competition for places… hopefully that will improve performances… but personally I Think we should build a defence round chambers, Mali, saliba and/ holding in the centre and Tierney… Read more »


Irrelevant. Luiz hat trick against Man City: 1 error leading to goal, 1 penalty 1 red card. Not to mention many previous shite performances. Spending money on this player is malpractice, pure and simple. #RaulOut

David C

no kidding! I would trade almost our entire team for the Wolves team. That’s how far we have fallen.
Liverpool, Citeh, Chelski, Man U, Spuds, Leicester, maybe Wolves, and possibly one of Everton/Sheff Utd will finish above us next season…
I really hope I’m wrong, but these signing are woeful.


Steady on.

alex alexsson

I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. We can talk about ‘non-negotiables’ all we want, but at the end of the day the proof is in the pudding. Rewarding poor performances with new contracts seems to go against everything Arteta has been saying so far. This was a prime opportunity to show the rest of the squad that despite your experience or profile, if you can’t cut it here, you’re out. What sort of message does this send out? Joke!


Spot on. How many times has he said non-negotiable already! Clearly it is negotiable because he’s not following through. Undermining himself. This just feels like Emery 2.0


About Luiz, have to agree. The complicating factor here seems to be that we have only 2 fit centerbacks in Mustafi (groan) and Holding (hmm…). Mari is out. No Salibi until next season. Chambers is out. Sokratis…who knows there. A couple youth prospects is all and they’d get turned to jelly in the Premier League. Arteta knows this. He’s no fool.   Circumstances suggest that its the best we could make of a bad situation we’re in due to the Mari injury. I hope he pans out, btw. Same with Soares, about whom I know little.   Wild speculation here,… Read more »


Do I laugh or cry????

Jeanette KLIGER

Totally disgraceful Arsenal is a corrupt team, the worst group of signings I have ever seen. Why not make Kia and Raul joint managers? At least we would not be in any doubt about the depths to which we can sink. I feel like crying and vomiting. I have been an Arsenal supporter since 1957. I am ashamed!


I feel your pain and stand by you. And I’ve only been at it since 1995. It is sickening.


EDU “I am really happy that we will have these players in our squad for the future. They have been part of the long-term technical plan Mikel and I have developed. They bring the right balance to our squad.”

Only time will tell how much of a role Arteta has in all these shady deals. #smh


Yeah, but what else is Edu supposed to say to the public?
Oh, well, these players are crap and we hope Mikel can sort them. Hey ho, its not my money!


They could use the Özil line.
We signed them for tactical reasons.


Bargain basement 2020. Mid table signings for a mid table team


Corrupt is the wrong word, sir.

#YOLO Toure

I don’t want to seem naive, but I’d like some more information on the Luiz deal. Like, Arteta has stated publicly several times that he wants to keep him – what if Raul and co initially thought no, but given Covid now think they’re not going to be able to back Arteta with as many player buys as he wants in the summer, so a late extension for Luiz is their way of backing at least 1 thing the manager wants?

Totally understand this is super unlikely, but would be interested to hear others’ thoughts on this perspective 🙂


Covid has changed a lot of the dynamics. Cost is obviously the first consideration.
However, I think binning Luiz would have changed the general mood as he hasn’t done anything to warrant the contract. Mustafi has barely done anything wrong since Arteta and most want him gone.
We need to do much better as a club in terms of quality and productivity. Luiz and Socrates should have been let go of.

#YOLO Toure

Yeah that’s fair enough. I’d be happy if we let go of Luiz, even though to be fair to him of his 2 red cards the first was trying to make up for Musti’s awful error against Chelsea.

To be fair to Musti, he was probably thinking ‘Stamford Bridge ain’t big enough for the both of us’ because he went on to play a blinder for the rest of that match if I remember correctly.


Anyone is better than Luiz at the moment. I would rather a young CB take his spot and learn from his mistakes rather than a 33 year old who we all know won’t improve. Shambolic from the club.


I know everyone is worried about Luiz, but I’ve seen nothing about Mari to make him better than Holding and Chambers. A 4-year Mari deal means, effectively, it’s a choice between at least 2 of these 3.


Basically, all Mari has to recommend him is the 6 months last year when he played for Flamengo in Brazil (where I presume he caught Edu’s eye). To be fair, he played well there and the team won their league. But, in my opinion there are still real questions about whether he can adapt to the pace of the PL. I guess we will find out.

Est Ldn

Agree completely, got down-voted to oblivion for saying the same…


What covid has done is ensure we can only pursue one big target in this transfer window. Seems like we’ve decided that the target should be a CM. The remaining squad vacancies are to be filled with the lowest spend possible. Hence we see Luiz, Cedric deals. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see Willian move here as well. Especially if we’re losing Lacazette or Aubameyang and with Martinelli out for a few months


There is nothing positive about any of this. So much for improvement. With the crap that we currently have, but probably minus Aubameyangs goals and Sakas assists, we’re looking at a season of fighting off relegation. The stats dont lie, where would we be without these two inputs. Maybe if we’re relegated the Kroenkes will sell and we can start again.


Edu seems to be different from what we all expected


Like most of Kia Joorabchian’s client list! (who all seem to be on our payroll)

Naked Cygan

What did you expect from Edu? He had no experience or business getting this role at the club. The only reason he got the job is because he used to play for us, same as Arteta. When you need a doctor for a serious operation, you want someone experienced. You wouldnt pick your best friend who just graduated from medical school. Our club is run by idiots.


This comment, come on….
First, who gives a crap about “career in business”? That has nothing to do with his role, he’s the technical director.
Second, take a look at the Wiki site. Edu is a football man, an invicible, and has been around.
I’d say Raul deserves a ton of criticism, but Edu does not. Not yet anyway. Corinthians did quite well while he was there, btw.


My father was once a politician and let me tell you 1 important thing which he said – “Your perception (image) is more important than who you really are! ”
Edu was the perfect Invincible image which was put fwd in front of us potentially to get thru all these scandalous deals.


What a load of rubbish.


Will we ever be free of this prasite hat-trick called Joorabchian/Sanllehi/Kroenke?


Kroenke ? He’s not taking anything out of the club.He’s not a parasite, he’s the absent owner who’s let the parasites take hold of the club.
For me, the biggest disappointment has been Edu,who you have curiously failed to mention.

Cygans Parting

I’m afraid that silent Stan Kroenke has taken money from our club in the past, in the shape of ‘consultancy’ fees (code for share dividends) three years in a row. Although Ivan the terrible did convince him to stop that one. £2 million per season is not an insignificant amount. Also now that he’s taken us back into private ownership, we no longer know what he’s using our club for. He could be using our club as collateral against loans as he tries to finance his massively over budget new L.A Rams NFL stadium. I do agree with you regarding… Read more »


Yes he is a famous philanthropist!

This Must Be The Place

He takes a fee for his absenteeism




Well that’s just super. A defensive liability and two injured players. Can’t wait for next season to begin whoop whoop.

Cultured Determination

I guess so that they can truly be LANS


It seems like someone is playing a cruel joke on us Arsenal fans.
These “new signings” are extremely underwhelming.
What on earth warrents an extension on Luiz’ contract?


Arsenal are a joke
Luiz – it just beggars belief.
Soares – has he actually been on the pitch yet?
Hopefully it won’t be long until Arteta is hounded out of the club. I would say don’t bother going to the matches but ha ha ha you can’t even do that – which is probably a good thing anyway…
Arteta will turn out to be the worse manager ever – beating even Unai Emery…


What exactly would hounding Arteta out accomplish? It should be quite apparent by now that our problems start at a much higher level than the head coach.

Pep, Klopp, Simeone: take your pick. None of them would be able to turn us around with the current state of the club leadership. Painting a rotten wooden fence doesn’t change the fact it’s rotten.

Guns Up

Sadly, I think Arteta will do great things as a manager… at some other club. Arsenal, at this moment, are set up for failure. I don’t pretend to know the actual root cause (ownership, executive team, general malaise??), much less the corrective action to take, but it surely has nothing to do with Arteta.


Mid-table ambitions. Painful.


I have not seen a mid-table team giving contract extension to players as bad as luiz. They want to sell them rightaway. We are border-line retarded in terms of management.


If, hypothetically, there were an actual plan, (I know, I know) for our defence next season, I’m guessing it would be:   LB – Tierney with Kola as backup LCB – Luiz (ugh) to be phased out for Mari (jury’s out but Edu said Arteta has been asking for a left-footed CB since he got here) RCB – Sokratis/Mustafi to be phased out for Saliba, maybe Holding or Chambers too RB – Bellerin with Cedric as backup   And then you free up your summer funds (hahaha) to go and sort out central midfield…   Obviously even if that were… Read more »

Cultured Determination

The ‘summer funds’/ plan is easy to work out. (15% of squad’s annual salary) – ($ from uefa cup) – (scumgent fees) – (scratch my head defender extensions/ signings)


I just have no words on the idea that David Luiz will play an important role going forward or fits in to a long term technical plan. Must just be a coincidence that the technical plan aligns nicely with Joorabchian’s plans for flogging his players.


Soares i get. Perfect cover voor Hector pl proven and is free. Mari had only played two games so lets judge if he’s worth it next season.
Luiz i dont get. But we can only hope he’ll play less. Good sign that he didn’t start at City. Hope Mari returns soon or bring in a new centre back.


Forgot about Saliba. Wil need time but i am sure he will be ahead of Luiz.

Cultured Determination

Only explanation is he teaches saliba the ropes without actually playing.

We will also sign a brazillian megastar/future neymar/future rivaldo/ future pele/future fat ron and luiz can be in charge of the bbq get-togethers.

Or maybe we will sell sokratis and mustafi and sign free agent thiago-brazillian-good-for-bbq-free-agent-silva.

Timorous Me

All I know is that after reading this comment, I’m really in the mood for a Brazilian BBQ.

Gus Caesar

I suspect that the Luiz deal is simply about this season. Without him we’d be down to 3 CBs plus kids with the games coming thick and fast. It appears to me that Arteta was keen on getting this one over the line. There’s no reason why we couldn’t sell him at the end of this season if we really wanted to – a certain person would get another fee if that occurred…   Soares is an interesting one. I actually really liked him a few seasons ago and he seemed to be playing at an oddly low level for… Read more »

Timorous Me

Cedric has the potential to be a solid signing (though I would have certainly preferred three years). You don’t want to pay much for someone who, in an ideal world, will simply deputize at RB, but he also has the ability and experience to fill in better for Bellerin than anyone we’ve had lately.   And with what I do know of Cedric, his skill set might fit quite well with what Arteta likes to do with his RB–bringing them more into the middle as, effectively, another midfielder. There are good reasons to have questions about this signing, but it’s… Read more »

Ya gooner

The only reason we’re bringing the rb i ti mf to help the midfielders is because we have no midfield.


Lol even if these players went on a free no one would care. Pathetic club, will be relegated to second half of the table


Never felt so unrepresented as a fan, I started watching Arsenal when I was 6 years old. I don’t even remember the highs of the invincible season as I was too young. This really does it for me, talking about rebuilding and then doing this two days later. I’m tired of being angry and disappointed. Sorry Arsenal but this is my time to say goodbye, I’ve hung on for so long and I can take bad results. This is worse, I’ve lost all hope because of the team management over the years, I don’t enjoy the games (haven’t for the… Read more »


You will come back. Everyone does. You can’t unlove a team if you follow it from so long. I have being a follower since 2012. Fa Cups are the only glory i know about arsenal.When i started following this crazy club we had not won any trophy for like 8 years. Arsene and Cazorla made me fall in love me with this club and i m going to die with this club in my heart forever.

Lord Peter Of Highbury

The idea that Luiz is in ‘sharp decline’ (today’s blog) is a nonsense. He’s been rubbish for years – take a look at his disgraceful performance as Brazil captain in the WC Semi final against Germany in 2014, when he was absolutely all over the place. As the Mighty Keown says in commentary “Brazil’s ship is sinking and Luiz has already dived overboard” Was his concentration affected by something then perhaps? That’s in the WC semi final, as captain, in his own country, ffs! Or has he always been a liability as a central defender? Rhetorical question of course, it’s… Read more »


We deserve everything that is coming to us with these deals. I can be on board with Mari, but the other two… CRAZY!!!!


For a club with no money signing unproven players to multi-million pound four year deals sure seems to make a lot of sense. What happens if Soares and Mari both prove to be shit? We’ll be talking about being unable to offload them just like we are with the forest of dead wood that constitutes our current squad. Give them two year deals with options to extend, surely.

Xhaka laca

Where’s Sala?


I’m done

Cultured Determination

Da hell…


Ceballos makes sense even if his head already seems to be back in Spain, hopefully we can eek out some performances from him. Soares and Mari I can’t really say because I haven’t seen enough of them play.   But on Luiz I find it interesting that people are pinning this on Raul when Arteta publicly called for his signing while the club seemed to be hesitating. Not to say Raul isn’t culpable for some of our worst recent decisions, including bringing in Luiz at that cost in the first place, but Arteta really went out to bat for Luiz.… Read more »




Vinai – Over-promoted
Raul – Luddite
Edu – Corrupt and lightweight
Fahmy – It’s not looking good, is it?
Put them all up against the wall.
Bring in some innovative, analytical and strategic heavyweights. We want the Zorcs, Campos’ and Rangnicks of the world. And we damn well need to improve our commercial revenue.

Gudang Bedil

Poor Arteta.


Oh my god these guys are going to kill my club. Wenger was always right about super agents. I rather miss out of a Ibrahimovic or Ronaldo than have 10 David Luiz’s for multiple years.


What a fuckin joke! SHIT, SHIT AND SHIT.


I would have been fine with signing none of them. On the contrary, I would like to see us selling even more players, even without backup for this season, because I think we are severely hampered by old, overpaid players. We should have cleared everybody out, even Lacazette, Auba, Özil, Sokratis, Kola, Ceballos, Chambers, etc.. Get some peanuts, get rid of the huge wage bill and wrong profile players and start building already for next season with young, inner club talent (Saka, AMN, etc) without Europe. I likeArteta, but his willingness to stick with some of these very mediocre “old”… Read more »


The problem is who would want to buy any of our comedy players? A lot of our players are overpaid League One standard, nobody can afford them.


You’d be able to sell for a bag of peanuts, but yeah, your right. I would certainly count my losses with Mesut und Musti. Auba and Laca should still fetch a reasonable price. I aggree though and maybe thats the hardest part: we have become so irrelevant and comic, it’s fuckin cringeworthy, from top to bottom 🙁


It has got nothing to do with Arteta.


Ambition seems to be a dirty word down at the Grove lately as well as culpability. All trust has been eroded by the clowns running this laugh a minute show.

David M

Is the real reason that Saka has not signed a new contract down to not having the right agent (KJ)?


This was a golden opportunity to rid ourselves of an error prone cash drainer.
Mari looks reasonable value without really seeing what his level is and Soares just sums Arsenal up to a tee with Raul and Edu.

Jean Ralphio

If we don’t extend Saka’s contract, I will be really concerned

Ashburton Red

Unpopular opinion but Arteta seem’s to want these players to stay.
(He also doesn’t seem like the type to be steam-rolled into taking signings he doesn’t want.)
Maybe it’s as simple as that.

Scott P

I agree, I’ve been somewhat baffled by his steadfast defense of these guys. I think Arteta knows the size of the task ahead of him, so I would have expected him to be publicly politically correct about these guys’ abilities while privately pushing the club for better. Either that, or the club has made clear to him this is all he’s going to get so he doesn’t have much of a choice. Both are concerning right now.

Kanu Believe It

I’m not going to bother looking up future Arsenal squads, or pay attention to transfer tittle tattle, I’ll just be googling ‘Kia Joorabichan client list’ once a week or so.

Reckon that will tell me everything I need.


While we all hate on Sanllehi and the super agents please do not forget that KROENKE is the real devil. He just appoints people hwo he can hide behind.
He needs to go his ambition now seems to be top 10 finishes.

Pat Rice and Beans

€20M on a CB with a nomadic career with only 2 games for the club (that makes ~60M spent on CBs in the last year).

Atm the squad has 7 CBs (Papa, Mustafi, David, Holding, Chambers, Mari + Saliba) which make no sense at this point.


And how many of that 7 can defend? 3 at best. It’s despicable


It’s a dark dark day for the club. If Aubameyang and Saka hadn’t already made up their minds about whether to sign a new contract they certainly will have now. We won’t be seeing either of them in an Arsenal shirt in 2022.


‘Long term technical plan’ my holy hoop


Ok, simple, keep Luiz then (already done) but don’t ever play him again, keep him for whatever he brings in the locker room, but that’s it.
Cedric, we will have to see, but as a cover for Hector not so bad, again, will have to see how it goes before making any further comment.
Mari didn’t impress me much, slower than Per and not as astute as the BFG, but since he hasn’t Luiz himself yet, can’t say too much.
Still, all of this feels so underwhelming.

Merlin's Panini

I don’t know about anyone else but I wouldn’t mind going back to no football with the way this season is going. This news, alongside our current toothless form, does not instil me with great hope for the future. I was at least looking forward to seeing the back of David Luiz but given he’s signed on for another year I wonder what that, as well as Mari being permanent, now means for our other centre backs or any others incoming.   At the moment, though, I feel like I just want rid of everyone in the squad except for… Read more »

Turan Yilmazgul

Edu… Edu… Edu…

Wilsheres Middle Finger

What was that Einstein said about insanity!?
My goodness Arsenal, you do not make being a fan business easy.

Bai Blagoi

/Kia likes that


Aren’t we get Saliba to the club soon after the 1 year loan ended? That will give us Mari, Luiz, Chambers, Saliba, Mustafi, Holding and Sokratis at central defender?


“David is a really important player for us. He has played most of our matches this season and has been important for the team. His passing, his communication with the team on and off the pitch. He helps everyone”

Is Edu commentating on his FIFA save?


Forgive me for being seriously underwhelmed, Arsenal. That’s about as polite a response as I can muster at the moment. What a joke this club is.


Is Edu the football agents plaything?


if anyone ever wondered the direction in which the club was heading, this is the absolute proof…heading no where that is. How can we compete with these guys?

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