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5 Bold Predictions for Filipe Luis' Debut Season with Chelsea

Garry HayesFeatured Columnist IVDecember 16, 2016

5 Bold Predictions for Filipe Luis' Debut Season with Chelsea

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    Srdjan Stevanovic/Getty Images

    He's just replaced Ashley Cole as Chelsea's first-choice left-back, so the coming season is going to be a considerable one for Filipe Luis.

    The Brazilian is settling into a new club after his move from Atletico Madrid, but there is more to it than that.

    He will have to live with the expectation that comes with a £15 million price tag, get to grips with the Premier League and, in the process, attempt to emulate one of Chelsea's finest-ever defenders.

    Indeed, Luis certainly has big shoes to fill, but can he? Only time will tell, so as we look ahead to the new campaign, Bleacher Report makes five predictions for how Luis' debut season may well turn out at Chelsea.

He Will Be Recalled to the Brazil Team

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    Victor R. Caivano/Associated Press

    For a man of his talents, it's surprising Luis has made just four appearances for Brazil.

    And considering the defensive debacles that his country suffered at this summer's World Cup, it's even more shocking the Chelsea left-back wasn't in Luiz Felipe Scolari's 23-man squad, let alone the starting line-up.

    Now that Carlos Dunga has returned as a manager, that may well change.

    As a defensive midfielder throughout his career, Dunga is a man who appreciates that side of the game.

    He will be looking to leave his mark on the new-look Samba Boys line-up, and what better way to replace the ineffective defensive talents of Marcelo than with a player far superior in that department?

    If Luis' form for Chelsea matches what we saw at Atletico Madrid last term, it surely won't be long before Dunga comes calling.

Chelsea Will Win the Premier League and FA Cup Double

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    Sang Tan/Associated Press

    There's nothing that Jose Mourinho enjoys more than lifting trophies.

    He endured a season of transition last term when Chelsea failed to lift any silverware of note, and now, with a much-changed team more in his vision, he will be going all out for glory.

    Mourinho failed to do two things during his first stint at Chelsea: win the Champions League and also pull off a Premier League and FA Cup double.

    Chelsea are looking like England's strongest team heading into the new campaign, and while the Blues won the double in 2010 under Carlo Ancelotti, Mourinho will want to add that accomplishment to his considerable list of achievements.

    Make no mistake, Filipe Luis will be there every step of the way, too.

He Will Make It into the PFA Team of the Year

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    Srdjan Stevanovic/Getty Images

    Jose Mourinho knows a good defender when he sees one, and the fact he has highlighted Filipe Luis as the man to shore things up on the left flank at Chelsea speaks volumes for his ability.

    It's one of the key positions at Stamford Bridge, too, with Chelsea's use of three attacking midfielders often meaning they lack width.

    Alongside Branislav Ivanovic or Cesar Azpilicueta on the right side of defence, Luis will be vital going forward, supporting attacks and proving a source for assists and overlaps.

    If he can do that well, he'll contribute significantly to what could be a historical season for Chelsea.

    And based on that, it's difficult to see another left-back making it into the coveted PFA Team of the Year line-up come May.

Chelsea Face Roma in the Champions League: Filipe Luis Outshines Ashley Cole

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    Paolo Bruno/Getty Images

    Football enjoys throwing up plenty of subplots throughout any season.

    Last year, from a Chelsea perspective, it was Thibaut Courtois—then-on loan from the Blues—turning out against them for Atletico Madrid in the Champions League semi-final and helping knock them out of the competition.

    Roma are back in the Champions League this term and could well face Chelsea in the group stage or knockout rounds.

    Were that to happen, it will mean a reunion for Chelsea and Ashley Cole—the man Luis replaced at Stamford Bridge.

    Cole is still a fine talent, but his advancing age mean he isn't the same player Blues fans have adored over the years.

    With Luis at his peak, we're going to put our neck on the line and predict that should Chelsea vs. Roma happen, the Blues' Brazilian left-back will outshine his predecessor to show why Mourinho preferred him.

He Scores a Premier League Goal

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    Srdjan Stevanovic/Getty Images

    Defenders aren't always renowned for or indeed judged on their goalscoring ability.

    Luis, though, has endured a tough time of it in front of goal—perhaps more so than your average defender.

    Last season, he scored just once for Atletico Madrid in all competitions. That goal came in the Champions League as Diego Simeone's side defeated Vienna 4-0 at the Vicente Calderon Stadium.

    You have to go back to April 2013 for when he scored his last league goal in a 5-0 win over Granada, and before that strike, it had been two years since his previous La Liga goal.

    We're trying to be friendly here, though, so we will predict Luis doesn't have to wait as long to open his Premier League account.

     

    Garry Hayes is Bleacher Report's lead Chelsea correspondent. Follow him on Twitter @garryhayes

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