Luiz’s eccentric style, ability to play high defensive line and his eagerness to go forward in possession is certainly unique for a central defender. But not unique for Barcelona, and that means Luiz is a prime target for the Spanish champions.
Sourced from Catalan daily newspaper SPORT, Mirror Football's Ed Malyon writes that Barcelona sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta has contacted Luiz’s agent Giuliano Bertolucci to clarify his interest in the defender.
Having lost out to Paris Saint-Germain in the chase for Thiago Silva last summer, the Spanish champs have once more been disappointed by the decision of Roma's Marquinhos to join Silva in Paris.
David Luiz is rumoured to have been labelled transferable by returning Blues boss Jose Mourinho, but the club vehemently denied shoving the Brazilian defender into a player-plus-cash offer for Wayne Rooney this week, according to Martin Lipton of the Mirror.
The 26-year-old was excellent for the Blues last season, besides from the odd blooper here and there. All in all, he has proved to be an astute signing from Portuguese side Benfica for £21.3 million in 2011.
Luiz featured 10 times in central midfield last season, according to WhoScored. From the back, he scored and assisted three times each, in all competitions, averaging 50.5 passes per game in the Premier League specifically. Overall, the defender had an 81.1 percent pass completion ratio from 1,515 attempts.
Returning from the Confederations Cup, Luiz’s confidence will be sky-high, and his fierce determination should make him a mainstay in this Chelsea side. Also, Luiz’s ability to play in central midfield proved popular with former boss Rafael Benitez, and the Spaniard utilised his versatility to good effect.
Last season, of course, the club collected the UEFA Europa League, beating his old club Benfica in Amsterdam. A big-game player, Luiz was influential in his side’s victory, leading from midfield and asserting his qualities on a very decent Portuguese opponent.
Whether Mourinho fancies Luiz in defence or midfield, time will tell. The return to fitness of Michael Essien may force his hand to play the Brazilian international at centre-back alongside John Terry.
But in the short-to-medium term, Luiz is only getting stronger. His exposure to a dynamic style in the Premier League will improve his credentials, and when Terry looks to hang up his boots, the 26-year-old will be the one to hold fort for Chelsea.
Mourinho, in his first spell with Chelsea, looked to build the team around the partnership of Ricardo Carvalho and Terry, with the former FC Porto defender showing a similar positivity with the ball at his feet.
Perhaps, the Brazilian Luiz can be the modern stalwart for the Blues, in the mould of Carvalho.