Following the news that Barcelona’s Carlos Puyol will be leaving the Catalan club at the end of the season, the rumours that David Luiz will replace him have begun to resurface, per The Telegraph's Jason Burt.
Luiz has been linked with Barcelona for the past two transfer windows, and the Blaugrana will no doubt be hoping that it will be third time lucky as they attempt to convince the Blues to sell.
However, there are several good reasons for Chelsea to hang onto the Brazilian centre-half.
Luiz quickly established himself as a cult hero at Stamford Bridge after arriving from Benfica in January 2011. His boundless enthusiasm for the game made the fans take him straight to their hearts, and within a few matches, he had his own song from the supporters.
Luiz spoke very little English when he arrived in London, but that didn’t stop him from letting his personality shine through—both on the pitch and off it. He quickly settled into life in the capital, and he was rewarded with the Champions League and the FA Cup double in his first full season.
It is widely accepted that Luiz is next in line for the Chelsea captaincy after John Terry retires, per Jamie Sanderson of Metro, which will be happening sooner rather than later.
It is hard to choose another member of the current squad who could take on this role. Luiz has already captained Brazil, at the age of just 26, and the Blues would have to reinvest any money made on him in another future leader.
The suggestion seems to be that the 19-year-old Kurt Zouma will act as a direct replacement for Luiz when he arrives from St. Etienne in the summer. Mourinho’s focus on building a team for the future within the confines of Financial Fair Play makes sense for the business of the club, but it should not be done at the expense of median-age players like Luiz.
Zouma is a great young talent with a huge amount of potential, but he will need time to settle in, and a player like Luiz is just what Chelsea need to enable such a transition. He also embodies a key quality that Mourinho wants from his players: all-round ability.
Luiz may have a reputation for being a bit of a defensive liability, and it is true that he sometimes loses focus. However, he takes a pro-active approach to his defensive duties and has made double the number of interceptions that Zouma has made this season, according to the Squawka comparison matrix. He has also created three chances and registered one assist.
When Barcelona sent Dani Alves and Neymar to convince him to quit Chelsea last summer, he told them he was happy in London. The only thing that has changed since then is that Barcelona’s need for a new centre-half has become more pressing, and that doesn’t affect Chelsea in the slightest.
In an interview with Ed Malyon of Mirror Football, Luiz summed up why he is the perfect player, telling the reporter:
"I want to play football and I want to help the team. It doesn't matter if I play midfield, if I play in defence, if I play as a striker."
Luiz loves Chelsea, and the club should make it clear that they have the same affection for him by refusing to negotiate with Barcelona or any other club that might want to sign the future captain, geezer, legend.
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