Despite a brilliant season for Chelsea in both attack and defense, David Luiz has been rumored as a possible departure over the upcoming summer transfer window.
Luiz, who spent time in both central defense and midfield this year, has been touted by The Daily Mail (h/t ESPN) as a genuine candidate to leave this summer under the potential new reign of Jose Mourinho, who has been constantly linked with the vacant managerial post at Stamford Bridge.
According to the Daily Mail, Luiz could be the first casualty of Mourinho's reign, with the Real Madrid boss not a fan of the 26-year-old's defensive abilities. The Mail reports Spanish giants Barcelona and Real Madrid would consider making a move for Luiz if he becomes available in the summer, with Chelsea looking to make a profit on the £21 million they paid for the Brazil international in 2011. While Luiz responded well to a shift into a holding midfield role, Mourinho would aim to recruit a more established player for that position, as well as a defender and a striker.
While it's important to consider all transfer rumors as speculation and understand that the rumor mill doesn't spare any player from finding his name in the papers, the reality is that this is a serious deal for Chelsea, and one that they cannot afford to have come true.
Luiz has been simply superb for the Blues this year, and while he isn't the strongest defensive midfielder in the world, he has certainly justified himself in the position.
And that, it seems, makes this a big deal for the West London club.
Frank Lampard has agreed to another one-year deal, and John Obi Mikel doesn't look like he's leaving any time soon. However, outside of that pairing, there aren't too many other players that can play in the defensive midfield role as well as Luiz can, and with Lampard on the wrong side of 30, it seems that Luiz may be their best option for long-term success in the position.
Of course, Mourinho could bring in someone—like the original report suggests—but it's hard to see that player being any better (or worse) than Luiz this season.
The Brazilian international has offered a great go-forward in attack and has shown to be an exceptional goalscorer at times.
He has thrived with the ball at his feet and has developed a great combination with Juan Mata ahead of him in central midfield—a long-term combination for the Londoners that they would be seemingly mad to try and break up this summer.
Luiz and Mata are the future in central midfield. They're both young, talented and have shown great success at Chelsea—why would anyone want to disrupt that?
Mourinho arriving (assuming it does happen) will be enough of a disturbance for the Blues. Whatever players they choose to bring in will no doubt do the same, and in order to catch the likes of Manchester United and Manchester City in the English Premier League next season, they need to ensure that they hit the ground running in 2013 without any additional problems lingering around.
Selling Luiz, or trying to sell Luiz, would be one of those problems.
His leadership and skill-set is greatly appreciated by Chelsea and to lose him this summer—for any amount of money—would be a huge blow for the club.
Chelsea must ensure that this is just another transfer rumor without a whole lot of substance behind it. For if it isn't, it could well derail their 2013-14 title campaign before it even began—such is the importance of keeping Luiz.
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