Frank Lampard has denied claims that David Luiz went on strike to force a transfer, after the Brazilian joined Arsenal in a deadline day move.
Luiz became Arsenal’s final signing of the 2019 summer window when the Gunners brought him in on an £8m deal from London rivals Chelsea.
The rumours of a move kicked off when Luiz was absent from Chelsea’s training session earlier in the week, but Blues boss Lampard explained that wasn’t because the 32-year-old refused to train.
“We’d had some conversations over the last week, honest because I know him well and the conclusion of that was he moved on,” Lampard said. “It is an area of the pitch where I have competition and people will be needing to make that shirt their own.
“There certainly wasn’t any strike so I’ll make that clear. In terms of fallout, no. I always respected honesty from a manager, whatever the news and I respected the same back from David.”
“The day David didn’t train was a decision that I made because it was clear the way we were going,” the Chelsea boss continued. “I wish him the best because he has been a big part of our history.”
It’s encouraging to hear that Luiz didn’t go on strike to force the transfer, as that wouldn’t exactly bode well for the harmony of the dressing room at Arsenal. Having a frank conversation and deciding to move on is a perfectly acceptable way to go.
Luiz has his first opportunity to debut for Arsenal on Sunday, as the Gunners face Newcastle United. Having played a sufficient part in Chelsea’s pre-season to get fit, Arsenal have confirmed the defender will go straight into full training ahead of the match.