David Luiz is certainly a character. He loves a laugh, he’s a joker at heart. Characteristics of a true dressing room entertainer.
The Brazilian was largely frozen out last season by Antonio Conte. A series of injuries were the cause of his initial exclusion, but ultimately it was a relationship break down with the Italian that cost him his place.
Under new boss Maurizio Sarri, the 31-year-old has regained the job of anchoring Chelsea’s defence. Unfortunately for Luiz his performances have largely been below par.
Saturday’s visit to Wembley was very much the ‘tip of the iceberg’ for many blues fans.
The former Benfica man looked lethargic in a poor effort to block Harry Kane’s effort for Tottenham’s second goal. Actually, he looked as if he was afraid to be hit by it.
Luiz was also accountable for Spurs third goal. Son shouldn’t have been allowed to breeze through Chelsea’s defence in the way he did, and others are not exempt from criticism. But, Luiz was completely outfoxed by Son, failing to put in a challenge.
During his first spell he was prone to errors. However, on the plus side he was useful going forward. His character and passion made him somewhat of a cult hero amongst the Stamford Bridge faithful.
Since the Brazilian returned, It’s fair to say he looked more assured defensively with Conte’s formation of playing three centrebacks. However, now back to a flat back four with Sarri, it’s become evident he hasn’t got the ability to play as part of a central defensive duo.
Chelsea have shown uncertainty at the back on other occasions this season. Sarri’s tactics are very attacking based, and The Blues often look to exposed at the back. Good possession football, but lacking a plan B.
Fighting for a starting spot
Andreas Christensen is an option to replace Luiz. Although, the Dane has not had the best performances when given chances in the Europa League. Another option is youngster Ethan Ampadu. The youngster could thrive given a chance. However, a lack of experience makes his inclusion unlikely.
The January transfer window is only five weeks away from opening. It looks possible that Roman Abramovich might have to look what options are available to the club.
In the short-term Maurizio Sarri will have an opportunity to consider his options on Thursday night, as The Blues entertain PAOK in Europa League action.