The news that John Terry has extended his contract at Chelsea by a further year will surely delight the majority of Blues fans, with their stalwart captain still an utter necessity in the Chelsea backline.
The 33-year-old was exemplary during the last campaign, putting his injury-hit season before under Rafa Benitez firmly behind him, and invoked calls of an England return for this summer’s World Cup.
While the former Three Lions’ skipper politely declined to even contemplate a return to the national team fold, he will accept that he is playing some of his best football once more under the tutelage of Jose Mourinho, and fully deserves his new contract at Stamford Bridge.
What will alarm the Chelsea faithful is that what will come next will surely see a firm fans’ favourite depart the club, and despite Chelsea potentially bringing in new faces to subsidise their impending loss, fans will not take kindly to the imminent departure of David Luiz.
With the consistently excellent Gary Cahill the number one choice to partner the aforementioned John Terry in the heart of the Blues defence, the rather maverick David Luiz has seen the majority of his game time limited to brief, explosive cameos in midfield, with Mourinho using his stamina, passion and drive sparingly, although often to good effect.
Yet the Portuguese cannot find a regular place in the side for the 27-year-old, and considering his skill-set, David Luiz needs to be playing every week at the highest level.
Barcelona are said to be very keen to complete a £30m deal for the Brazilian, while Bayern Munich reportedly want to throw Mario Mandzukic at Chelsea in exchange for Luiz. PSG also want him, as well as compatriot Oscar; and in my mind, Chelsea fans should be every bit as concerned as when Mourinho sold Juan Mata to Manchester United.
In full flow, David Luiz is a sight to behold, and while Gary Cahill and John Terry have formed a formidable partnership at the back, I believe it to be folly to allow a truly one-of-a-kind operator to leave Stamford Bridge.
His performances in the centre of midfield this season have been, to quote Mourinho, monstrous. Chelsea vs Manchester City was won and lost in midfield, with Nemanja Matic and Luiz setting upon their opposite numbers like a pair of rabid wolves.
The same can be said of Chelsea’s triumph over PSG in the quarter finals of the Champions League. How can Jose cast off such a proven big-game winner? Well, I suppose you’d have to ask Mata.
But while Chelsea were well-stocked in the attacking midfield department when Mata departed the club, Luiz is one of only two players with a consistently excellent range of passing in the Blues midfield, with the now 35-year-old Frank Lampard the other.
Ramires, Mikel and Matic are excellent performers, with their own key attributes, but they are not subtle attacking/accurate long-range passers of the ball. With Lampard on the cusp of retirement (or the MLS), the departure of Luiz will necessitate the arrival of at least two more ball-players central midfielders, and I wonder if the club will provide the funds, considering the impending overhaul in attack.
David Luiz is also undoubtedly a key presence in the dressing room, and is especially excellent with the younger players and new additions to the squad. He is a great hairy ball of energy, and I’ve not heard a bad word said about him or his personality.
To amputate such a figure will surely be detrimental to the Brazilian contingent to start with, let alone the fighting spirit at the club that he so vividly embodies when tearing around the pitch in search of blood or ball.
With his long flowing locks and affable persona, Luiz started to become a very marketable asset, much more so than any other defender on the books in West London. Not only this, but he has become one of the most well-loved players in the eyes of the fans, with his #geezers hashtag now world famous, as is his penchant for interacting with his loyal fan base.
While John Terry’s contract renewal is cause for celebration in the Chelsea ranks, if David Luiz makes his expected exit this summer, and to one of the Blues’ fiercest European rivals, the club will be casting aside part of the modern day essence of the club, something that may have unexpected ramifications on the rest of the squad, let alone having gifted either Bayern, Barca, or PSG a truly extraordinary footballer and presence.
What do you think? Can Chelsea afford to ditch David Luiz? Get involved in the comments below…