David Luiz is a player who you either love or hate; there is no in-between when it comes to the talented Brazilian. However, whether he will become one of the greats depends heavily on his first team opportunities.
Since the return of Jose Mourinho, Chelsea have looked uncharacteristic; they are leaking goals and struggling to win in some games they would have previously dominated. The reason is unknown for the most part, but if you compare the two squads Mourinho has worked with at Chelsea, it is clear that this season the Blues lack a true holding midfielder.
Mourinho's team during his first spell in charge between 2004 and 2007 were hard to beat, and with players like Frank Lampard, Arjen Robben, and Didier Drogba, it was near enough impossible to outscore them. That squad of players won every domestic cup there was to win, but never had the same impact in European competitions
One of Mourinho's most influential players was Claude Makélélé, he was the first player to make a role his own. His disciplined approach helped Chelsea to all of their major trophies in the Mourinho era, as he would protect the back four, and play the ball out calmly from defensive positions.
One year after Mourinho left, Makélélé moved to Paris Saint-Germain. As expected they started to leak more goals, and the 'Makélélé' role was never replaced. That type of player could be just what Chelsea need at this moment, with the back four constantly under pressure this season, and many of the goals they are conceding seeming to be following a similar pattern.
The extra space in front of the back four creates pockets for opposition midfielders to roam into, consequently leading to goals conceded, a fine example would be the Stephen Ireland strike in the recent 3-2 defeat away at Stoke. No doubt Makélélé would have snuffed out the pass from Jonathan Walters before it even reached Ireland.
Chelsea may however have a solution for their problem in the talismanic Brazilian David Luiz, sometimes his mentality is questioned, but with Mourinho's man-management, he could be nurtured into the key player they need.
The 26-year-old already has the raw ability to thrive in a slightly more attacking role away from his preferred centre-back position, as he has proven with key performances in the Confederations Cup for Brazil. He is comfortable on the ball, has the physical presence of Makélélé, and never backs out of a challenge.
The one negative is his mind-set, and whether he would be able to keep his cool and whether he has the temperament to sit back for long periods in important games.
Last season, under Roberto di Matteo's management, David Luiz was played in the defensive midfield position, in which he dominated games, he was on the score sheet more due to his exceptional long-range shooting, and created as much as a prolific No. 10 would, showing off his wide range of passing ability. He wasn't perfect, but he showed the right signs, and many of the fans would like to see him start more games this season.
Mourinho has a big decision to make, as Barcelona are constantly assessing the situation of the former Benfica man.
If Mourinho continues to play John Obi Mikel in the deep role it may cause unrest amongst fans, who are just not used to their team conceding in the manner they are at the minute. Either way, there is no doubting the true quality that Luiz possesses and he could prove to be crucial in Chelsea's hunt for silverware this season.
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