Long serving managers have one thing in common, that is an ability to rebuild their team time after time. Sir Alexander Chapman Ferguson, the greatest British manager in modern times has proven to be exceptionally good at this.
Some of the regeneration was undertaken as illustrious players began reaching the end of their careers, others retired and some agitated for a move to sunnier climbs. Nemanja Vidic appears to fall in the latter category with a move to Real Madrid appearing a formality, whilst the ever more injury prone Rio Ferdinand may have seen his best days.
With Johnny Evans, Wes Brown and the newly signed Chris Smalling, SAF is reportedly looking at signing one more central defender and David Luiz who plays for Benfica appears to top his wish list.
The 22 year old has spent two seasons at his present club and has impressed many scouts with his assured performances in the UEFA Cup. The centre half began his career with Brazilian club Esporte Clube Vitoria, where he made his professional debut at 16. He quickly established himself first at left back and later in centre defence.
Benfica who have been very successful in the Brazilian market signed the exciting youngster on loan in 2007 with a view to a permanent move. Although only making ten appearances that season, he impressed the coaching staff and signed a five year deal.
Compared to a traditional British centre back, Luiz is slightly short standing at 6ft 1 inch, although Thomas Vermaelen has shown that that this need not be an impediment in the Premier League. Similarly to the Arsenal defender he is versatile and can play in the left back position and likes to maraud forward when the opportunity presents itself.
Luiz despite his lack of inches is considered good in the air due to an exceptional leap. As with most of the new breed of defenders he possesses pace enabling him to make last ditch tackles if he is beaten by an opposing player.
However, as with all young defenders sometimes his positioning can be suspect and rash challenges are sometimes made. But this can be rectified with more experience and good coaching.
Video evidence can be seen here.