The manager had been eyeing a new centre-back ever since the summer transfer window had opened and at one point it looked like the Gunners would have to miss out on that transfer.
Initially, there were reports that Arsenal wanted to bring in Samuel Umtiti from Barcelona after the Frenchman had fallen down the pecking order last season.
During the 2018-19 campaign, Valverde had laid his faith on the pairing of Pique and Lenglet which led many to believe that Umtiti would be sold off this summer.
But somehow the deal did not go through and the player ended up staying at Barcelona for one more year. And many reports claimed that Unai Emery had shifted his focus to signing David Luiz only because he had failed to bring in the Frenchman.
Now though, Umtiti has come out to claim that he was never close to joining Arsenal during the summer despite all the rumours.
“Honestly, I don’t know where this rumour with Arsenal came from,” he said.
“Overnight, I received messages from my friends ‘ah, so you are joining Arsenal?’ I’m not, I’m sorry but I’m staying at Barcelona.
“Contacts with Arsenal? To be honest, I don’t know if they had conversations with my agent, I just told him that I didn’t care what was happening this summer and that it wasn’t even necessary to talk to me about it.
“It was useless, I was going to have the same answer.”
This means that signing David Luiz was not a last-minute decision from the Gunners and the Brazilian in fact had been on the radar for some time.
This will obviously feel a bit more settling for the Arsenal fans since they know that next year William Saliba will be coming into the club and the youngster will hopefully be the long-term successor to David Luiz.