Arsenal defender David Luiz will leave the club when his contract expires next month, manager Mikel Arteta said on Tuesday as he paid tribute to the Brazil international. 

The 34-year-old centre back, who joined the club from Chelsea in 2019, signed a season-long extension last year and is among the club’s highest earners. 

“We had very clear talks in the last few months,” Arteta told a news conference ahead of Arsenal’s visit to Crystal Palace in the Premier League on Wednesday. “He’s given his best. I tried to help him as much as I possibly could, and the club did as well. 

“After some conversations, we decided it’s the best way to do it now.” 

Luiz is currently out with a hamstring injury sustained against Newcastle United earlier this month. He has made 73 appearances in all competitions for the north London club. 

“I had the privilege to work with him for 18 months,” Arteta added. “I have really enjoyed learning from him. He’s been very helpful every time with the team, and I feel sadness as well because you get attached to the players emotionally. 

“He is a player that has won everything in football and has earned every right to do so because of who he is as a player and as a person. 

“I just (want to) say thank you to him and wish him the best of luck in his next chapter because I am sure, knowing David, that he will have many more to come as a player.” 

Arsenal, who are ninth in the league standings on 55 points, end their season at home against Brighton & Hove Albion on Sunday.

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