Could Chelsea's David Luiz Be the Beneficiary of Marco van Ginkel's Injury?
It's an unpleasant, horrible sight whenever any player suffers the injury suspected to have ended Marco van Ginkel's debut Premier League campaign.
The young Dutch midfielder was making only his second start for Chelsea against Swindon Town in the Capital One Cup on Tuesday when disaster struck early in the first half; he landed awkwardly and twisted his knee.
Reports since in the Daily Mail have suggested the 20-year-old has damaged his knee ligaments, while his replacement at the County Ground—Chelsea's Brazilian midfielder Ramires—was also forced onto the treatment table when he didn't appear after the interval on account of a suspected hip problem.
It means Jose Mourinho could potentially have a selection headache on his hands in the coming weeks with injuries to two key midfielders making an already imbalanced squad appear at tipping point.
From darkness comes light, however, and with David Luiz moved from his starting position in the back four to defensive midfield against Swindon, Chelsea's manager may well have had his hand forced.
Gary Cahill and John Terry formed a strong partnership as Chelsea's centre-back pairing during preseason, while Luiz was on international duty at the Confederations Cup, and the Brazilian has seen his place in the starting XI come under scrutiny like never before as a result.
Whether it be his positioning or sometimes erratic behavior, many have raised concerns for his suitability as a defender. That Mourinho has been content to leave him out more often than not this term suggests the Portuguese manager thinks the same.
Yet, could we be about to see Mourinho repeat an experiment started by Rafa Benitez last season by giving Luiz a shot at making the defensive midfield position his own?
It will not be from a desire to transform Luiz into a midfielder that Mourinho will look to do this, but needs must. And if van Ginkel's injury is as bad as first thought, the Chelsea manager will have a decision to make if that bad news is followed by Ramires needing a prolonged period on the sidelines.
Should David Luiz play in defensive midfield for Chelsea?
Michael Essien is not the player Chelsea fans once knew after suffering serious knee injuries of his own, and any promising youngsters waiting in the wings are on loan, including Josh McEachran and Nathan Ake.
Mourinho could be left with Luiz as the solution in either of his midfield pivot roles, as was the case against Swindon and at stages under Benitez last term, putting in some encouraging displays.
We've seen it happen too many times before in football that, as one door closes for a player, another opens for a teammate. Could this be Luiz's chance to finally make his transition from defence to midfield?
He certainly has the ability. Luiz just needs a leap of faith of his manager to trust him.
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