Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta made a ‘mistake’ over David Luiz and Willian deals, claims Alan Smith

Arteta is guilty of transfer mistakes, says Smith
Arteta is guilty of transfer mistakes, says Smith (Picture: Getty Images)

Alan Smith believes Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta was wrong to have sanctioned deals for David Luiz and Willian last summer.

The Gunners re-signed Luiz, 33, on a new one-year contract and brought in fellow Brazilian Willian, 32, from Chelsea on a free transfer.

Arsenal also completed a £27million deal to sign Gabriel and activated Thomas Partey’s £45m release clause on deadline day.

Willian has struggled to make an impact at the Emirates
Willian has struggled to make an impact at the Emirates (Picture: Getty Images)

However, the new signings have been hit and miss. Centre-back Gabriel has been the most consistent so far while Partey’s start to his career at the Emirates has been blighted by fitness issues.

The Ghana international was rushed back from a thigh injury for Sunday’s north London derby defeat to Tottenham and staggered off the pitch in the first half during the build-up for Spurs’ second goal.

Willian has also struggled for form while Luiz made a whole host of high-profile errors in his first season at the club.

And former Gunners striker Smith feels Arteta made an error of judgement in handing the experienced pair lucrative deals.

‘Arteta is a good coach we all accept that [but] he has made mistakes I think,’ Smith told the Evening Standard.

‘I was surprised when he re-signed David Luiz and I was surprised when he brought Willian in.

‘That’s costing the club a lot of money in wages and it would’ve been nice to have gone for youth rather than a couple of players who have achieved everything really that they need or probably want to in the game.

‘I thought that was a mistake by him but as a young manager, he is going to make them along the way.’

MORE : Fenerbahce confident of signing Arsenal outcast Mesut Ozil in January

MORE : Jamie Carragher slams Arsenal’s ‘joke’ signings of Willian, David Luiz and Cedric Soares

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