When Jose Mourinho takes control of a club it usually means that changes will follow sooner rather than later.
The departure of Juan Mata, though obviously a relative shock given the circumstances, is one that won’t have been received as a surprise by anyone who has followed the Special One’s career to date.
Furthermore, let’s be frankly honest here: Mata’s departure was only the beginning. Unlike other managers who are reluctant to rid themselves of fan favourites who don’t fit into their plans, Mourinho is more than happy to dispense with any player he deems deadwood, and he won’t take much time in doing it.
That’s why it’s with little trepidation that I can say Chelsea fans should be expecting a sizeable overhaul come the summer transfer window. With a number of players on the periphery of the squad it’s only natural to assume that given the chance Mourinho will commence in the regular clear-out that he undertakes at every club he manages.
It’s primarily for this reason that I think David Luiz will finally leave Stamford Bridge this summer. Allow me to make one thing clear, I’m not jumping on the bandwagon and saying that he could go, I’m stating loud and clear that he should.
Though originally drafted in under the pretence of being an unconventional defender who would complement John Terry’s defensive stability by bringing an air of technique and ability on the ball into the Chelsea back line, Luiz’s stye has not bore many fruits in the unforgiving setting of the Premier League, and he’s been a liability to the team more times than any Blues fan would care to recall.
Of course since Mourinho’s second coming at the west London outfit the issues Luiz often harbours in the centre of defence have been erased; binned in favour of the far more reliable pairing of Terry and Gary Cahill.
And despite the fact that the nomadic South American has been utilised to good effect further up the field on more than one occasion this campaign, one gets the feeling that his days as a first-team regular are numbered.
The addition of roaming destrier Nemanja Matic in January will almost certainly fill any void there had been in defensive midfield and to think Luiz will push the likes of Ramires, Eden Hazard, Oscar and Willian out of the mix even further up the pitch is beggars belief.
This would indicate that the 26-year-old is destined to find himself out of the starting XI with relation to the current players on Chelsea’s books, let alone how it may stand if Mourinho strengthens in the summer. That’s £30million on the bench.
Of course Mourinho is no fool. £30million on the bench in the form of a player that is surplus to his requirements doesn’t make sense either financially or in football terms.
Couple that with the retained interest of Barcelona, who are keen on bringing Luiz to the Nou Camp as part of a rumoured squad revamp of their own, and you have a scenario wherein it’s easy to see Chelsea offloading one of their more senior players, without losing anything in terms of squad quality.
Is Luiz capable of cutting it at the highest level? Yes.
Is he capable of doing it in a regime wherein the discipline of unerring defensive solidity and use of a Spartan-like phalanx in the back-line are of paramount importance? No.
Luiz's sale makes sense. The only question that remains is will Mourinho allow him to depart to a Champions League rival?