After Brazilian centre-back David Luiz's deplorable performance in Brazil's 7-1 annihilation to Germany at the 2014 FIFA World Cup semi-finals, should Paris Saint-Germain be worried?
Will he be a €49.5/£39.3 million transfer flop at PSG?
Spread the Blame
Coming from the perspective of an ardent Luiz critic, the feeling of Schadenfreude has been replaced by pity.
"I just wanted to give some joy to my people, who deal with lots of suffering every day," Luiz said, per Dominic Fifield at The Guardian. "One day I'll make them happy somehow."
Luiz is wearing his heart on his sleeve, chivalrously taking the verbal bullets for the Brazilian national team, readily knowing his public image will never be the same.
Yet, what about Luiz's team-mates?
Minus Fred—the modern-day Serginho—Luiz's compatriots are slithering back into club football without taking any real accountability for their part in Brazil's demise.
Brazilian left-back Marcelo played himself as a left-forward from the get-go, which enabled German right-back Philipp Lahm to roam forward.
Amid the furore of Germany scoring not two, not three, not four, not five, not six times—Lahm created two goals from right-back.
It was not just Lahm cashing in on the right flank; German right-winger Thomas Mueller scored and created a goal again as Marcelo does not pride himself on being a shutdown defender.
Luiz would have received more protection from Atletico Madrid left-back Filipe Luis, who is a world-class ball-winner.
Luis felt disillusioned after being rebuffed by Brazilian national team manager Luiz Felipe Scolari, per O Globo (via FourFourTwo).
|League Only||Filipe Luis||Marcelo|
|Tackles Per Game||4.1||2.5|
|Fouls Per Game||1.0||0.7|
|Tackles Per Foul||4.2||3.6|
|Interceptions Per Game||1.5||1.2|
|Possessions Won Back Per Game||5.6||3.7|
Meanwhile, Brazilian right-back Maicon dedicated more time to diving than doing anything productive.
Brazilian defensive midfielder Fernandinho failed to complete a tackle in a half of football.
There was a clear lack of cohesiveness between Fernandinho and midfield partner Luiz Gustavo, with German central midfielders Sami Khedira and Toni Kroos consistently making threatening runs.
To think Fernandinho and Gustavo were tasked with shielding Brazil's defence.
In hindsight, what doomed Brazil was Luiz's partnership with Dante, who had Luiz-esque moments for Bayern Munich last season.
It was an uncoordinated and unbalanced centre-back partnership.
What Does Luiz Do Well?
|League Only||Alex||David Luiz||Marquinhos||Thiago Silva|
|Tackles Per Game||1.6||1.2||1.3||1.1|
|Fouls Per Game||0.6||1.4||0.6||0.6|
|Tackles Per Foul||2.5||0.9||2.3||2.0|
|Interceptions Per Game||1.8||1.3||1.8||2.3|
|Possessions Won Back Per Game||3.4||2.5||3.1||3.4|
Compared to PSG centre-backs and fellow Brazilians Alex, Marquinhos and Silva, Luiz is the only player who committed more fouls than tackles last season.
Luiz is neither a prolific ball-winner nor a conservative centre-back who blocks shots and forces opposing players into turnovers.
PSG had an issue with unforced errors from their centre-backs last season.
Alex and Silva combined for three own goals.
Marquinhos' air-swing led to Saint-Etienne central attacking midfielder Benjamin Corgnet scoring.
A careless clearance from Marquinhos saw the ball rebound off team-mate Thiago Motta and into the path of Saint-Etienne right attacking midfielder Romain Hamouma.
Alex, Marquinhos and Silva—three level-headed Brazilians—still have defensive breakdowns; therefore, PSG's choice to sign the world's most frustratingly inconsistent defender in Luiz has a high risk of failing.
Luiz's performance against Germany proved he is not a centre-back, let alone a €49.5/£39.3 million-valued defender.
Statistics via WhoScored.com.
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