The technical ability, passing vision, composure on the ball, sublime finishing, powerful forward runs, and the pride of the shirt he wears.
Now you’d not be alone if you thought the above statement was describing an exciting forward, or a world-class midfielder, someone like Andres Iniesta perhaps?
If I added, fuzzy hair, extravagant ways, big smile and the sense of humour of a comedian, you might finally realise that I was in fact talking about our very own Brazilian central defender, David Luiz.
His persona has bought him many admirers since he joined Chelsea in January 2011 from Benfica. It’s not surprising, as he has bought back some flair and entertainment to the Bridge in a season full of mixed emotions, heart ache and joy.
The 25-year-old Brazilian international has never been shy of drama, controversy seems to follow him, whether it’s a rash challenge, or a loss of control on the ball, or an outstanding last minute goal, there is never a dull moment when watching Luiz.
Criticised heavily last season for his decision-making, and the way he would commit too early in to making a challenge, usually ending up in the opposition gaining a scoring opportunity. This is the problem you face when you are playing as the last line of defence, any mistake, and they’re in on goal. Although at the latter part of the season, David’s decision-making did improve, and he ended up playing an integral part of winning the Champions League and FA Cup.
There is no question that David Luiz can be a liability, especially playing as last man. He is 25 now, and although many people are saying he is still learning, which he is to a certain extent, he should be mature enough now to be able to make better decisions.
My own personal opinion is that David Luiz would be more affectively used in the middle of the park, perhaps as a deep lying central midfielder. With his ability, confidence on the ball, the way he reads the game and his tackling, surely he’d be more suited to a more advanced role? He is technically gifted, and scored 4 goals last season from the back, many of them being better finishes than I’ve seen from any centre forward. And the way he will stride forward with the ball is frightening, not to mention his ability to pick out a decent final pass. If he played further forward, I truly believe he would score around 10-15 goals a season.
Benfica flirted with Luiz as a left back, and he has played for Chelsea as a right back, to which he did a decent job. But I don’t feel that is his best position. I know I am not alone when I say he should play a more advanced position, I’ve read and heard it from a few supporters now, and in my own humble opinion, he is a centre midfielder. The way he can affect the game in an advanced position could prove vital, he is creative and will put his body on the line.
But don’t we need David Luiz at the back? Don’t get me wrong, he is a class act back there, a tremendous centre half, but to me, the way Gary Cahill and John Terry play together, is just a joy to watch, they should be our main centre backs this season. They are two of a kind, two real lion hearts. Then we have Branislav Ivanovic, who again, is a world-class defender. Some say he should play right back, but he’s stated he would prefer to play centre back. So here we have three immense defenders who are prepared to play as a centre back, leaving us with two excellent holding midfielders – David Luiz and John Obi Mikel. Cover for all positions.
Simon Phillips – News Editor
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