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Why keeping David Luiz should be Mourinho’s top priority



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Jose Mourinho will have several priorities when he’s confirmed as Chelsea’s next manager and the main one should be trying to keep David Luiz at the club.

The Brazilian has been tipped to follow his international teammate Neymar to the Nou Camp as the long term replacement for Carles Puyol and the defensive solution for the Spanish champions.

david luiz
David Luiz celebrating Chelsea’s Europa League win

Barcelona did seem to be focusing on Arsenal captain Thomas Vermaelen who has since said he will not turn his back on the Gunners meaning the focus and attention could now turn to one of Chelsea’s most popular current players.

Barcelona’s capitulation in the Champions League semi-final against Bayern Munich exposed a weakness in the Spanish side, which we haven’t seen for a very long time at the top level.

Mourinho has to quickly work out how he’s going to use David Luiz, who played more as a holding midfield player towards the end of Rafael Benitez’s temporary reign over the club. That versatility will be very important for Chelsea over the course of the 2013/2014 season because it gives the club more options.

As a defender David Luiz can be a little chaotic but he’s important because he’s a natural replacement for John Terry, arguably the best defender to have ever played for the club.

He also appears to be more consistent in that holding midfield role than John Obi Mikel or Michael Essien, who returns to the club this summer following a loan spell with Real Madrid.

That consistency is what makes him reliable and one of the first choice players for both club and country; he made 59 appearances last season proving his importance for both Chelsea and Brazil. It’s also a priority for Chelsea to keep him because of the way he interacts with the dressing room.

One of the things Mourinho will be looking for at Chelsea when he’s confirmed as the new boss is universal support which means the backing of the fans, the dressing room and the board room.

The mistake Andre Villas-Boas made during his short spell with Chelsea was not winning over the dressing room and David Luiz’s popularity with his teammates and the fans makes it easier for Mourinho to do just that.

His basic skill will also make him important for the way Chelsea plays, regardless of whether he’s being used as a central defender or as a holding player. Mourinho likes his teams to play good, attractive football demonstrated by the fact Chelsea scored 147 league goals when Mourinho guided them to back-to-back titles in 2004/2005 and 2005/2006.

David Luiz allows him to maintain that style. He passes out well from the back or if he’s playing the holding role, he helps to work the ball through the midfield quickly and up to the strikers.

It would be a big mistake if Chelsea and Jose Mourinho accepted a lucrative offer from Barcelona if that carrot was dangled in front of them.