David Luiz: Why Chelsea Should Play Him Solely in Midfield Next Season

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David Luiz: Why Chelsea Should Play Him Solely in Midfield Next Season
Scott Heavey/Getty Images

Whilst there was little love lost between the Chelsea supporters and Rafa Benitez, one thing that the Blues' fans were forced to concede was that the Interim One's idea of moving David Luiz forward into a defensive midfield position appeared to be a stroke of genius.

Luiz is touted as a future captain of Chelsea FC, and his enthusiasm and infectious smile have endeared him to the fans since he signed for the club in 2011. He had his own song within weeks, and there are pockets of fans at every game wearing crazy curly wigs in homage to him.

However, the traits that make him a candidate for the captaincy are the very same that have made him a huge liability as a defender.

Rather than sitting back waiting for an opportunity to counter, Luiz likes to take charge and make the forward runs that will help his team out. That desire to lead by example is admirable, but it leaves a gaping hole in front of Petr Cech that well-organised teams have exploited time and again.

Despite his defensive frailties, he still made an average of 4.2 clearances per game in 2012-13, alongside 2.2 interceptions per game. However, it is his passing that further proves that a defensive midfield position is where he belongs. An overall accuracy of 81 percent coupled with 5.4 long balls per game outlines his exceptional reading of the game.

In the Premier League match against Tottenham Hotspur on May 8, Luiz played a 40-yard diagonal pass that landed squarely at the feet of Victor Moses, and he repeatedly played similar passes several times in the latter stages of the season.

Playing him as a defensive midfielder gets the best of both Luiz's.

He has the freedom to move forward, safe in the knowledge that there is a defensive line behind him, and he is still able to track back and contribute defensively.

If he is allowed to develop in this position and only used as emergency cover for the back four, there is no reason why he would not go on to become Chelsea's next "Captain, Leader, Legend."

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