David Luiz: Chelsea’s title winner?

by Ben McAleer

Sunday, March 20th, 2011

A comprehensive 2-0 win over Manchester City today saw Chelsea leap frog there top four rivals into 3rd place this evening and one man has been at the centre of Chelsea’s upturn in fortunes. Forget £50m man Fernando Torres, leading the front line from the back is January signing David Luiz. The Brazilian born centre back has scored two important goals in five appearances since his £21m move from Benfica. Scoring a first class volley against Manchester United at the beginning of the month before breaking the deadlock in today’s fixture has proven pivotal in propelling the West Londoners back into the title race.

His move may have been a drawn out affair throughout January with Benfica at one point claiming the move was dead in the water but Carlo Ancelotti finally snagged his man with Nemanja Matic set to join Benfica at the end of the season. His five appearances in the heart of the Chelsea defence, one as a substitute against Liverpool, has seen him pick up no less than two man of the match awards signifying his importance in the Chelsea back four.

Yet Luiz brings more to the Chelsea starting XI than just a solid defensive game. As I mentioned, the Brazilian has scored twice since his arrival (a 200% increase on Fernando Torres) so has an eye for goal, he possesses the ability to play the ball out of defence in, similar to that of compatriot Lucio and his versatility means he can operate at left back and centre midfield as well as his natural role of centre back.

With Luiz forming an effective partnership with John Terry in the centre of defence, the Blues have improved dramatically on the pitch and it is no coincidence that they remain unbeaten since Luiz made his first start for Chelsea (barring of course the penalties defeat to Everton in the FA Cup).

I am firmly of the opinion that Luiz has proven to be one of, if not the, signing of the season along with Tottenham’s acquisition of Rafael Van der Vaart and the signing of Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez by Manchester United. The Premier League title may be heading back to Stamford Bridge this season if Luiz continues his fine form in the Chelsea shirt. His club performances haven’t gone un-noticed on an international stage with five caps to his name and was recently called up to the Brazil squad to face Scotland on March 27th.

With his 24th birthday still a month away, Luiz has age on his side and, despite turning in impressive performance after impressive performance, will only get better with age. I believe he is a future Lucio in the making and it wouldn’t surprise if he were able to replicate the career success of the Brazil captain.

Follow Ben on Twitter @BenMcAleer1

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  • stan

    just watching the highlights on BBC. What a player.

    If only Arsenal had a center back with that talent, they’d be well clear by now!

  • master

    Wouldn’t of played today if he’d been rightly showed the red card against Man Utd… how would you rate him then?

  • Jim

    Too late for Chelsea now, but he is a hell of a player. He should have been sent off V United however!

  • Matt

    He’s good, very good, needs polishing though.

    But the title is for United and Arsenal’s to loose, not Chelsea’s in this current stage.

  • http://thebeautifulgameweekly.blogspot.com/ Ben McAleer

    In fairness, yes he should have been sent off against United but the fact remains he didn’t. Personally, I have rated him since before he joined Chelsea and have been waiting for the right time to write about him which seemed right after yesterdays game.

    As for ruling Chelsea out of the title race, I wouldn’t say it’s all over yet. Stranger things have happened this campaign and it would be foolhardy to say they won’t be there or there abouts come the end of the campaign.

  • Matt

    You’re right in saying that it would be foolish to right them off, mathematically it’s foolish to right city off, god forbid. But as I’ve said it’s not theirs to win.

  • dexylongshot

    I tell you what, i’d move him into midfield next season and start building the team around him. He is too good to be just a defender, he could be the best box to box player in years, as mentioned above, he’s got the lot. I’d have a clear out at the end of the season, get in another centre half, say mexes or someone. With Luiz patrolling in the middle breaking up play & with frank further up and ably assisted by essien, what a midfield.

  • http://thebeautifulgameweekly.blogspot.com/ Ben McAleer

    Matt, if we are talking mathematically then Bolton and Everton still have a chance to win the title! Comparing the run ins of the team, it could be said Chelsea have the easiest of the three. The two games to watch out for in the coming weeks are Chelsea’s trip to Old Trafford and United’s trip to the Emirates. Furthermore, it can be added that both Arsenal and Chelsea have to play Spurs and we all saw how both performed against them last season.

    Dexy, as for moving Luiz into midfield, a good idea it may be but then they lose his defensive ability which, for me, would be a greater loss than gain to Chelsea’s squad. Ramires has improved since his move last year and will prove more than good enough in the Chelsea midfield after this season’s experience.

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