Why Chelsea should tie David Luiz down to a new contract
According to the Express, Chelsea are ready to offer David Luiz a new deal. The Brazilian centre-back’s current contract is set to expire next summer and the Blues are seemingly ready to abandon their rigid policy of offering contract extensions to players who are beyond 30. In fact, they are on the verge of tying the 31-year-old down to a new lucrative two-year contract which should see him earn £125,000-a-week (h/t The Sun).
The Brazilian returned to Stamford Bridge in 2016 from Paris Saint-Germain after he was sold by the Blues to the French outfit back in 2014. He played an important role in Chelsea’s road to Premier League glory in the 2016/17 season, where he made 33 appearances in the English top-flight.
However, he was frozen out of the first-team by Antonio Conte last season and did not manage more than 17 appearances across all competitions, only 10 of which came in the Premier League.
However, the arrival of new manager Maurizio Sarri has seen the Brazilian return to favour and the 31-year-old has played every minute of Chelsea’s top-flight campaign so far.
Chelsea have made an impressive start to their season and are yet to be beaten in the Premier League. The Blues’ winning streak of five games was ended by West Ham last weekend as the Hammers held Sarri’s men to a goalless draw.
Sarri is probably the most offensive-minded manager to have taken charge of Chelsea in recent times and his influence on the team is evident from the way they have performed in the attacking third. As a result, Chelsea have one of the best scoring records in the Premier League so far, having scored 14 goals from their first six games.
Undoubtedly, Sarri’s free-flowing football has brought the best out of Eden Hazard and Pedro in the final third. However, the Blues have looked susceptible at the back – even against average opponents.
Antonio Rudiger and David Luiz had a tough start to the season and struggled to build a strong partnership in the heart of the defence. Although Rudiger has grown in confidence in the past few games, Luiz hasn’t shown much improvement with his positioning.
The Brazilian was caught out of position numerous times against Arsenal, Bournemouth and Newcastle United, where he allowed Joselu to get the better of him. To sum it up, Luiz has been poor this season and hasn’t managed to add any sense of stability to the backline.
Even though the Brazilian seems to be going through a lean patch currently, his calibre as a centre-back is beyond doubt. And the fact that Luiz’s style of play suits Sarri’s philosophy should prompt the club to tie the Brazilian down to a new contract.
A tall and burly centre-back packed with physicality, Luiz has the ability to outmuscle the opposition with his strength. He is a ball-playing defender who is comfortable with the ball at his feet and is unafraid to play the ball from the back. Not only does he have a good range of passing, which makes him adept at ball distribution, but he also has the vision to find his teammates up front with accurate long balls.
Another impressive thing about him is his ability to find the net from direct set-piece situations. Furthermore, he is blessed with exceptional aerial ability and the Brazilian is rarely dominated by the opposition in the air.
Although he lacks positional sense and suffers from occasional lapses in concentration, Luiz’s assets outweigh his liabilities as a defender.
More than his qualities, Chelsea should keep hold of him since the club lack options at the back. With Gary Cahill set to reach the end of his Blues’ career soon, Antonio Rudiger and David Luiz will be the only quality centre-backs left in their ranks.
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Having said that, Chelsea should not delay in offering David Luiz a new contract as he is expected to play a key role for the club in the coming days.