It wasn't the first time that he featured in the double pivot, and going by the evidence put forth against Aston Villa, it won't be the last.
David Luiz's first audition in midfield came in the second half of their home game against Champions League Group E whipping boys Nordsjaelland. Although the big win wasn't enough to seal Chelsea's qualification into the last 16, there were positives, the most prominent being the ease with which Luiz settled into midfield.
On Sunday evening, Chelsea ran riot, giving the visiting Villa a real pummeling, and David Luiz had a big hand in it. It was, of course, the fuzzy-haired Brazilian who was all over the pitch, spreading play and winning 50-50s for his team.
He even had a Drogba-esque moment in the 29th minute, scoring via a perfectly weighted free kick from around 25 yards out using the very technique Chelsea's Ivorian legend used to use.
Rafael Benitez would like to think he has finally found the position the young man is best suited for. By his own admission, Rafa knows that the margin of error afforded to the 25-year-old at centre-back is significantly less than when Luiz features higher up the pitch.
Assisted by the FourFourTwo Football Stats Zone app, I present to you an icon analysis of David Luiz, which would certainly help assess his performance against the Villans on Sunday. It should put us in a position to decide whether or not he merits a start in midfield when Chelsea travel to Carrow Road to take on Norwich this Wednesday.
A careful look at the diagram given shows that Luiz was omnipresent, spraying passes all over the pitch.
While the whole Chelsea team produced an 87.1-percent passing percentage, he had a very reasonable passing accuracy of 86.5 percent.
That, coupled with the fact that the only 10 passes he misplaced were all forward-minded seems to indicate that the Brazilian sure has it in him to play as one of two holding midfielders in a 4-2-3-1.
Talk about sharp shooting. Luiz, although deployed as one of the side's two defensive midfielders, didn't hold himself back. He bombed forward—and to good effect.
Of course, it's the free kick that we will remember. It's a collector's item. Well struck, it flew past the helpless Brad Guzan into the net.
Luiz later had a couple of blocked shots and stung the keeper's palms with a decent strike from range, even as Guzan saved comfortably.
What was particularly pleasing was his desire to test the keeper from distance, something we don't see Jon Obi Mikel do often enough.
A Player Influence diagram of the Villa match indicates that Luiz and Azpilicueta were the game's most influential performers and saw a lot of the ball.
The diagram isn't deceptive. Luiz was indeed very involved and very authoritative, covering every blade of grass, and as the figure reflects, his average position through the 90-minute duration is bang in the centre circle.
When not patrolling the centre of the pitch, he could be seen charging forward to initiate attacks or covering ground for left-back Cole, who spent a large part of the game in the opposition's half.
Luiz had a game-high six interceptions, four more than any other player involved. This is precisely what any gaffer would want from the player he deploys as a midfield destroyer.
In the continued absence of John Terry, I think it's safe to say that a centre-back pairing of Branislav Ivanovic and Gary Cahill is the best available to Chelsea: a good combination of grit, speed, technical ability, physical presence and aerial prowess. There's a lot of balance there.
Moreover, it is abundantly clear that David Luiz is an asset for the Blues when he features in midfield. This is a special player we're talking about; one who likes a little freedom to express himself and certainly possesses that little bit of "quality" going forward.
To utilize his unique talents, it's better not to just tie him up at the back. He will surge forward when the opportunity arises, so it's best to have him in the double pivot.
He should look up to Frank Lampard to help him further improve his passing accuracy. I, for one, have no doubt that, given time, David Luiz will make one of the two slots in defensive midfield his own. Give him a start there against the Canaries, will ya, Rafa?