Chelsea defender Filipe Luis has no plans to force a premature exit from Stamford Bridge, despite largely failing to convince Blues boss Jose Mourinho he deserves a place in his starting XI.
Luis is Brazil's first choice left-back but the same can't be said at club level, where the 29-year-old has started just nine Premier League games since swapping Atletico Madrid for West London last summer.
Mourinho still prefers Cesar Azpilicueta in that position despite spending the best part of £19 million on Luis, but the full-back is undeterred and has no plans to call time on his £78,000-a-week deal before it expires in 2017.
Atletico return not on the cards
Thanks to his position as a perennial substitute in recent months Luis has been linked with a return to Atleti this summer, but the Blues ace doesn't consider that an option.
Luis told the Daily Mail: ‘He always asks for everybody to be focused and concentrate in the matches and try to win every game we play. He always says that to us. He never says anything else.
‘It’s really difficult. We have nine really difficult games. We have to be better than ever but I think we’re prepared to cope with the hard situation that we have.’
Next season will prove pivotal
Luis may insist he's at Chelsea for the long haul, but try telling that to a full international if he's stuck on the bench again next season.
Azpilicueta's continued excellent form and familiar excuses of adjusting to the switch from La Liga to England means Luis gets a pass this season, despite being a fairly underwhelming if solid addition to the Chelsea squad.
Mourinho will want more from Luis next term though, which may mean he considers moving Azpilicueta to right-back and reducing the workload of Branislav Ivanovic when possible.
Without that kind of shift there's no way the Chelsea manager can keep Luis happy, even if Champions League and cup matches are offered as a consolation prize.
Mourinho is a ruthless pragmatist and won't change his plan simply to suit one player, but without a shift in selection policy the decision to recruit a La Liga winner of proven quality merely as back-up will have to be called into question.
Chelsea fans, what have you made of Luis so far this season? Good signing or a waste of £19m when you consider the form of Azpilicueta? Let us know your thoughts in the comment box below!
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