Under Maurizio Sarri, Chelsea have gone from a solid compact defensive and at times overly conservative side to one of the best in the league. Everton too, are going through their own transition stage as new boss Marco Silva tries to get The Toffees into the top six.
Sarri has opted to give Chelsea’s at times, error-prone defender, David Luiz the starting position this year in tandem with Antonio Rudiger and so far, he’s done well.
Chelsea have a host of players out on loan and one of the better-known players is French defender, Kurt Zouma.
Somehow David Luiz has managed to put together a career that has seen him play for two of the biggest clubs in Europe. The Brazilian defender has always been a player who, with the ball at his feet, can look like a solid player, but when he’s asked to defend he can represent something of a liability.
Despite playing 33 games on his return to the club, Luiz was ousted by Antonio Conte last year. This season he’s been thrust into the starting role alongside Rudiger and has played 11 games in the league.
Although defensively, Chelsea have done well, Sarri can’t be at ease with the Brazilian at the back. It’s incredible how much money Chelsea have spent on the former Benfica man.
TT Grade: C+
Snapped up by Chelsea in 2014 for a reported £12 million fee, it took a bit of time for the Frenchman to break into the first-team but in his second season at the club the former St Etienne man began to establish himself as a regular.
Unfortunately for the Frenchman, he suffered a serious knee injury against Man U in February 2016, which has stalled his progression and caused him to be sent on loan to Stoke last year and then again to the Toffees for this season.
If not for his knee, injury, Zouma would probably still be playing at the club and likely ahead of Luiz. His pace and physical attributes are all ideally suited to the fast-paced nature of the Premier League.
If Zouma can stay fit this season, Sarri could well have his long-term replacement for the error-prone Luiz.
TT Grade: B+
At 31, Luiz is not going to be the long-term option at the club. Moroever, his level of play just isn’t good enough for a side that is looking to challenge for silverware every season. In Zouma, Chelsea have the defender for the future. If he can return from a solid loan spell with Everton, Chelsea could have a player that could fill the void left by John Terry.