Unai Emery has praised David Luiz for the positive impact he has made since joining Arsenal in the summer.
The Brazilian, who bagged his first goal for the Gunners in the 1-0 win over Bournemouth on Sunday, signed from Chelsea in the last transfer window.
Luiz has been criticised at times throughout his career for being error prone and there were questions were raised when he made the move.
The shut-out against the Cherries was only the second time in 13 league games that Emery’s side have kept a clean sheet.
And Luiz was a big part of the win at the Emirates, also nodding home Nicolas Pepe’s corner in the 9th minute to move the Gunners up to third in the Premier League.
Emery praised Luiz after the game, highlighted his influence on and off the pitch since he joined the club.
“Yes, because he’s very positive,” he replied when asked if Luiz is popular in the dressing room.
“Every time he’s speaking about positive things and helping young players. He came late into the squad but really, his commitment is very high with us, and his behaviour is too. Everybody is happy with that.
“We knew if we won, we’d go third. For our confidence and our way, it was important, but not feeling the pressure of that. Maybe in the second half, we were winning 1-0, maybe in some moments we felt that pressure.”
Emery is hoping to help fire Arsenal back into the Champions League this season after three years in the Europa League.
And he has been buoyed by the return of several players who can aide the team’s cause in the coming months.
Defenders Rob Holding, Kieran Tierney and Hector Bellerin have all returned to full fitness and should help shore up the back line.
None of the defenders were risked against Bournemouth but Emery insists that it will not be long before they make their Premier League bow’s this season.
The trio all featured in Arsenal’s 5-0 and 4-0 victories over Nottingham Forest and Standard Liege respectively in recent weeks though.
“Kieran and Rob are closer to playing,” said the Spaniard. “I think Rob Holding can play 90 minutes with a good performance.“Hector Bellerin needs a little more time, more matches and more training.
“This international break is going to be important for him. I think he will be closer to starting for us in the next matches in the Premier League.”