He is affectionately known to some Chelsea fans as Sideshow Bob and is considered a real fan favourite at the Bridge. Well according to the Daily Mail Chelsea will face a fight to keep hold of their Brazilian defender during the summer with Spanish giants and arguably most desirable team in the world Barcelona willing to pay up to £35m for the centre back.
The reining European champions have long admired the 24-year-old during his Benfica days in which he was voted Portuguese player of the year in 2010 and has apparently continued to catch the eye of the Catalan’s during his 18 months at Chelsea.
Barcelona see Luiz as a long term replacement for their captain Carlos Puyol – probably because of the hair – who is 34 next month and increasingly troubled with injuries and will stop at nothing to lure the defender to the Camp Nou.
Luiz joined Chelsea in January last year for £21m from Benfica but has increasingly come into criticism due to his shall we say unorthodox style of defending. Luiz’s erratic tackling and increased technical play out from the back has been dubbed by many for not suiting the English. Luiz has hit back at these critics in recent weeks with a string of improved performances, especially his performance against Napoli in the Champions League which some consider his best in a Chelsea shirt.
Abramovich is keen to hold onto the defender as he is still progressing as a player and with the increasing injury problems suffered by captain John Terry Chelsea can’t afford to lose another centre back.
After paying £21m 18 months ago and considering the under par performances for majority of his Chelsea career tied with Barcelona’s willingness to pay £35m – a £14m profit in 18 months – should Chelsea consider the sale and replace Luiz with a more ‘suited’ centre back?
In my opinion Luiz has improved immensely since his early Chelsea days, he has scored some crucial goals for the club and offers something different compared to traditional defenders. No doubt Luiz’s style would be more suited to Barcelona where being a defender is more about setting up attacks rather than actually defending but Chelsea should try everything in their power to keep hold of him.
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