With January fast approaching, transfer rumours are beginning to pop up on a daily basis, but a recent whisper about a £29 million deal with Barcelona for David Luiz is one that is a real cause for concern.
The fun-loving Brazilian, signed for €25 million from Benfica nearly two years ago, became an instant fans favourite.
With his limited early English only stretching as far as ‘geezers’, the curly haired sideshow bob look-a-like was easy to love. ‘I want curly hair too’ became a popular terrace chant.
Luiz showed early on why Chelsea had been so keen to secure his services, his ability to read the game and make quick interceptions, reminded me of Ricardo Carvalho in his prime.
It’s for this reason why I cannot fathom why Jose Mourinho doesn’t fancy Luiz more. The Brazilian is the perfect anti-dote to an aging Terry. A combination very similar to the one shared between Terry and Carvalho.
Question marks remain over Luiz’s concentration, which has cost Chelsea goals in the past, and his daring style which has got the Brazilian in trouble on occasions. Is Luiz really good enough for the very top level in the central defensive position?
Rafael Benitez of course preferred Luiz in the deep lying midfield role, his unique range of passing can of course help Chelsea dominate teams who like to sit deep.
Then of course, Benitez didn’t really have the options to change from his Mata, Hazard, Oscar attacking front line. But now Mourinho has Schurrle or Willian in the front three and Kevin De Bruyne and Oscar to move deeper if required.
While Mikel and Ramires can offer the team a great deal in their individual styles, neither can offer the ability to control a game through passing.
In De Bruyne, Oscar and Luiz, we do have those players now, but personally, Luiz is a centre half; a free flowing, libero type player, capable of putting in proper defensive performances when required. See Champions League final, May 2012, Munich.
The fact Barcelona are willing to pay nearly £30 million shows we have a magnificent talent on our hands, and in the long run, we will be better off with Luiz than the money.
Luiz just needs to be given a run of games, a show of trust from Mourinho, and under his leadership and develop into the leader that some expect him to become when Terry finally calls it a day.
A solid performance yesterday should hopefully mean Luiz keeps his starting place against Crystal Palace on Saturday, and another impressive performance should be enough to keep Gary Cahill out of the team.
Cahill is another reason why Mourinho’s decision to keep Luiz on the bench more baffling. The 27-year-old is going through his ‘peak years’ and still looks as though he has a lot to learn. Cahill is given good press simply for being English, he of course has some similar attributes to Terry, but this is what makes their partnership flawed.
The former Bolton man is not good enough for the very top of English and European football, when faced with a top quality goal scorer, Cahill is often found wanting.
Given time and regular starts, Luiz will continue to stamp out the silly mistakes which have provided a bad mark on his impressive career so far.
Let’s not forget, Luiz started and performed in both the Champions League and Europa League finals, will be a starting member of Brasil’s world cup squad and would walk into pretty much every team in Europe right now.
Mourinho is trying to prove a point by not playing Luiz, but unless he is given the opportunity to prove Mourinho wrong, his head is likely to be turned by the likes of Barcelona, something Chelsea cannot afford given the current defence options.
It’s a similar situation to that of Juan Mata, who, since joining, has been the first name on the team sheet, and our most important player. Now Mourinho is in charge, everything has changed, everything Mata gave to the team is no longer good enough, and it’s fair to say we played better football under Rafa last season.
Both players provide a lot to the team, and in my opinion, we are better with them on the pitch, rather than off it.
If Luiz can replicate his Champions League performance again on Saturday, then that should see him in the team throughout the New Year and should provide Mourinho with enough reason to warn off Barcelona from making any sort of attempt to sign him.
Because selling Luiz, really would be a mistake of the highest order.
Should we sell Luiz for the right money, or help him develop into our next captain? Tweet me @DeanMears