After Chelsea’s 3-1 away loss to Tottenham Hotspur a few months ago, David Luiz has been a changed man. He has transformed into a mixture of prime John Terry and Cesc Fabregas all in one. His range of passing is second to none in world football for a centre-back and provides a unique outlet for the Blues. However, with his contract set to expire this summer, his future at Stamford Bridge looks to be in doubt. With Luiz’s vast experience of world football, the Premier League and of London, Cobham and Stamford Bridge, in particular, his presence will be missed if he is to leave.
Why Chelsea Can’t Afford to Lose David Luiz
Chelsea’s current centre-back situation is very solid and they have good back up. Ethan Ampadu and Andreas Christensen are struggling for first-team matches such are the performances of Luiz and Antonio Rudiger. They also have Gary Cahill, though he is likely to leave, and manager Maurizio Sarri has said they have a ready-made replacement in Ampadu, hence no need to bring in a new signing.
Luiz has started 21 of 22 games so far and is integral to the team. He has formed a good relationship with Rudiger and has proved himself as a key figure in Chelsea’s main starting eleven.
Chelsea don’t lack leaders. Cesar Azpilicueta and Eden Hazard are instrumental characters in the dressing room. Now they have the honest-speaking Rudiger coming out of his shell in his second season in England. David Luiz brings more than leadership, though. He is the setter of expectations; a father figure for youth and a player that Ampadu looks like he may replicate in terms of play style. Chelsea can replace Luiz’s ability but they can’t replace the extra side to Luiz’s game: his happy-go-lucky, extroverted, wacky and brilliant personality.
The Wrong Policy
Chelsea’s reason for not offering a contract extension to players over 30-years-old is outdated. It’s medieval. There is no logical footballing explanation for it. It all comes down to a lack of a director for football. This is a business model-ran decision by the club. It is wrong.
David Luiz is still starting games and playing as their most important centre-back. He would like to be offered and to sign a new contract and he isn’t on extortionate (yet, still large) wages. He brings experience which cannot be replaced with any sort of signing or replacement.
With Cesc Fabregas leaving this week and possibly Gary Cahill in this window, Chelsea, while necessary, are shipping out players who have been there and done it for the club. They fully understand what it means to play for the club. While the current squad is still experienced and most players have been there for at least three years, players like Fabregas, Cahill and Luiz do leave voids in the squad.
This policy is the same as the one that might halt Sarri getting his favoured striker Gonzalo Higuain. Chelsea are a big club. They need big players. Luiz and Higuain fit the bill. They are a necessity at the club.
If this policy doesn’t change, Chelsea will lose a massive player at the club; someone very underrated in world football. His resurgence since the Tottenham match has been exceptional and shows how much playing for Chelsea matters to him.