Chelsea defender David Luiz has stated that he is ready to accept the role of first-choice for the club and take over from captain John Terry.
In the closing days of the transfer window, a number of eyebrows were raised when Chelsea were linked to former defender David Luiz. The Brazilian had a mundane first spell at Stamford Bridge and did not progress a great deal at Paris St. Germain. Thus, Chelsea’s interest in the player came as somewhat of a surprise.
Blues manager Antonio Conte did not shy away from admitting that Luiz was not his first-choice defensive option, but one that the club had to settle for. The critics as well as the fans expected the Brazilian to have a hard time in England’s top flight, but to the surprise of many, Luiz has established himself as one of the star players for the London side this season.
After watching his side struggle playing in a 4-1-4-1 or a 4-2-3-1 system, Conte decided to impart his favoured formation at his new club. The Italian gaffer made quite a reputation playing with a back three and decided to change the formation to a 3-4-3.
This system saw Luiz play as in the centre of a back three alongside Cesar Azpilicueta and Gary Cahill. Knowing there are two other defenders to sweep up the loose balls, the Brazilian has looked more comfortable with the ball at his feet. He’s often seeing drifting forward and playing the ball out to the wingers.
His performances have seen the club captain John Terry struggle to make it back into the first team. The former England international suffered an ankle injury at the start of the season, and on his return to full fitness, saw himself sit on the bench while Luiz continued to impress as the back. With him already being 35-years-old, it may be the best time for him to hand over the baton to the Brazilian defender.
Luiz, too, is of the opinion that he is ready to take the step up and become the club’s top centre-back. According to Rebecca Knight of 101 Great Goals, the Chelsea defender said:
“When you get older, you want to organise your bedroom more than when you are young. It’s quite like this, just part of getting older.
“If not that means I’m going the wrong way. You need to be ready to improve every day and be available to do that immediately, from your first day.
“If I think I am the same player as many years before, this is not a good mentality.”
Chelsea take on West Brom on Sunday and will be looking to regain a three-point cushion atop the league table. Arsenal’s 3-1 win over Stoke saw them leapfrog the Blues to claim top spot, and even a draw against the Baggies could see Conte’s men head the charge.