Paris St-Germain defender David Luiz has hit back at former boss Jose Mourinho, claiming his old club Chelsea will miss him in the coming Premier League season.
Mourinho recently said that, although the Brazilian was a good personality around the club, in footballing terms, Chelsea are now stronger having sold Luiz to PSG for £50 million earlier in the summer, per ESPN:
Last season he was not regular first-choice for us. David did important things here, was always a good professional and we will miss him as a good guy when he was with us. But from a football point of view we believe our squad is stronger this season than it was.
I have to believe that Chelsea or any team will miss me. I'm not arrogant but I'm confident in my own abilities. Paris paid a lot for me so they obviously believe in me. It is nice to be at a club where they really want you and where they show belief in you.
Indeed, the amount paid for the centre-back by PSG is a record sum for a defender and an astonishing figure, per the Sunday Telegraph's Jason Burt:
Usually a record transfer fee would only be splashed out for a truly special talent—see Cristiano Ronaldo and Luis Suarez—but many balked at the figure paid for Luiz.
He was not even a regular starter at Chelsea last season—Gary Cahill and John Terry being the preferred centre-back pairing—and his defensive abilities have never been the best, his greater talent being playing the ball out from the back.
Certainly former Manchester United and England centre-back Rio Ferdinand believes the price paid for Luiz is somewhat inflated to say the least:
Mangala 31m & Luiz 50m...how much would Varane cost with these valuations at the moment ??! 60-70m??— Rio Ferdinand (@rioferdy5) August 12, 2014
Luiz's huge transfer fee has, in part, allowed Chelsea to re-invest by buying Filipe Luis, Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas, with many now tipping the Blues to win the Premier League after a third-place finish last season, including the Daily Mirror's Oliver Holt:
My Premier League top four for this season: 1. Chelsea. 2. Manchester City. 3. Arsenal. 4. Manchester United.— Oliver Holt (@OllieHolt22) August 13, 2014
Luiz made 15 starts last year in the Premier League and Chelsea do seem to have added well to their squad since his departure.
However, Luiz has an opportunity in the coming season to prove Mourinho and his other doubters wrong, especially as he will begin playing alongside his Brazilian national team partner Thiago Silva—although the latter is currently injured.
Luiz has undoubtedly joined the top club in Ligue 1 who are favourites for the title again this season. But it is in the Champions League where PSG and Luiz will be truly judged and it remains to be seen whether the former Chelsea man can back up his assertions and live up to his huge price tag.