David Luiz has said he was not “scared” to push for a move to Arsenal after insisting his time was up at Chelsea.
Brazil defender Luiz forced his way out of Stamford Bridge to join Arsenal in a dramatic £8million switch which is likely to make him public enemy No.1 with Chelsea fans.
But Luiz – who is joined by Kieran Tierney after the left-back completed a £25m move from Celtic – is convinced he can now win major trophies with Arsenal and claimed he needed a new challenge despite only signing a new contract at Chelsea in May.
Luiz said: “I’m excited to play for this big club. I grew up watching a lot of Arsenal games, especially the great players from the past, so I’m excited to try to help this club to do some big things.
“The cycle finished there (at Chelsea). It was a conversation between me and Chelsea and everybody. I had an opportunity to come to another big club. In my life, I’ve always liked to do some challenges. I’m not scared at all to try things.
“I think not too many players would make this kind of move, they would maybe be scared, or something like that. I’m just trying to do big things in my life, so like I said, my cycle at Chelsea finished and now I’m excited to start a new chapter of my life here.”
Gunners boss Unai Emery also offloaded Alex Iwobi in a £35m deal with Everton which means Arsenal ended up with a net spend of just £45m despite signing Luiz, Tierney and club record £72m buy Nicolas Pepe.
It capped off a good day of business for Arsenal after they also captured Tierney, who they first tried to sign three years ago.
Tierney, 22, has signed a five-year deal at Arsenal and immediately promised to “make some noise” after leaving his boyhood heroes Celtic.
It has been a transfer saga which lasted all summer before Arsenal finally got the deal done on deadline day – and, in keeping with the transfer, Tierney’s move was even held up at the last minute.
Tierney, who will wear the No.3 shirt, was with some friends in a local park when he got the call to say the deal had been agreed – but then his journey from Glasgow to London turned into a nightmare.
Scotland left back Tierney, who is recovering from a double hernia operation, said: “I got to the airport and the flight was delayed two-and-a-half hours, with another hour’s drive for a hotel and I probably got zero sleep, so I was back up at half five today (Thursday).
“It was the hardest decision in my whole life that I’ve had to make. I had to speak to my family and my close friends and my agent as well because it’s a hard decision to leave a club that you love so much. People need to know that as well.
“I’ve come to London and I want to make some noise. I feel Arsenal is a massive club and it’s a great opportunity for me as well. I’m delighted to be here. Now I just feel was the right time to take a step on. I feel this is a great opportunity for me.
“It feels great. I’m delighted to be here. Obviously I’m injured now, but I’m just looking forward to getting back on the pitch, training and getting involved with the squad.”