David Luiz is about to become the most expensive defender in the world, when his agreed transfer from Chelsea to Paris Saint-Germain goes through at the start of the transfer window. The fee is reported as being a whopping £40 million, which must beg the question - is he really worth it?
Luiz has proven himself at the highest level by adapting to life in the Premier League and has also shown his versatility, with Mourinho deploying the centre-back in a defensive-midfield role towards the back end of the season.
However, £40 million is a fee one would normally attribute to a ‘game-changer”, and they are rarely defensive players.
Javi Martinez moved from Athletic Bilbao to Bayern Munich for £34 million in August 2012 and many would say that he is a similar player to Luiz. Martinez can operate at centre-back or in a holding-midfield role and is not afraid to get forward and chips in with the odd goal (although he may not have the rocket of a shot that Luiz has).
Martinez was just about to turn 24 when he signed for Bayern, Luiz is 27 and although that means he should be at his peak, there is a much smaller sell-on value when he signs a four year-contract as reported by Ligue1.com.
There is also the issue with the inconsistent form that saw Luiz drop in and out of the team and only make 34 appearances in all competitions last season. I would question spending a world record fee for a defender on someone who is not trusted by one of the best coaches in the world and cannot oust an ageing John Terry from the Chelsea backline. He may well have a future as a defensive midfielder, but even so it is still a huge fee.
The somewhat controversial Brazilian seems to be a big character and is not afraid to do whatever it takes to succeed, but there are players on the market who can alter the course of a game with a moment of genius and they are commanding the same sort of fee.
Although PSG are backed by billionaire owners, they have just been punished in the same manner as Manchester City for breaching Financial Fair Play rules. Is spending £40 million on a defender - when you already have Thiago Silva in your team - really a wise choice?
Chelsea must be laughing all the way to the bank having recouped double the fee they paid Benfica for Luiz and it also allows them some freedom to replenish their misfiring attack after narrowly avoiding the same punishment from UEFA. This football fan’s humble opinion is that he is not worth that fee....... now watch him go and win the golden boot at the World Cup.
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