One of the most intriguing aspects of Chelsea’s Club World Cup semi-final victory over Monterrey was the deployment of David Luiz in midfield.
Luiz, an undoubtedly classy player prone to defensive errors, played the latter part of Chelsea’s Champions League rout over Nordsjælland in a defensive midfield role and we could well see the Brazilian there in the second half of the campaign.
A long term injury to Oriol Romeu, who Benitez appeared to be keen on, and a reliance on Ramires and John Obi Mikel, means the Chelsea interim coach is a little short on options in the middle of the park.
This is exacerbated by Frank Lampard’s recent injury problems, the fact Benitez prefers to play two holding midfielders and the strength in depth at the back once Chelsea captain John Terry returns to first team action.
Writing for ESPN, the always sensible Gabriele Marcotti, summed up Luiz’s performance: “Luiz did well. His size and strength, coupled with his ability to run with the ball, created a mismatch when he came forward. And when he won possession — unlike Ramires and Mikel, who tend to look short — he wasn’t shy about going vertical, with accurate balls into space.”
Marcotti adds that at Liverpool Torres was successful running on to passes from Steven Gerrard and Xabi Alonso and Luiz could well be another piece in the jigsaw to get El Nino firing again.
David Luiz’s show reel v Monterrey is on the video below.
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