Why David Luiz Will Be a Huge Player for PSG in the 2014-15 Champions League

Christopher Atkins@@chris_elasticoContributor ISeptember 16, 2014

NAPLES, ITALY - AUGUST 11:  David Luiz of Paris Saint Germain  in action during the pre-season friendly match between SSC Napoli and Paris Saint-Germain FC at Stadio San Paolo on August 11, 2014 in Naples, Italy.  (Photo by Giuseppe Bellini/Getty Images)
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It is a transfer that has provoked much ridicule, with French champions Paris Saint-Germain seemingly paying well over the odds at the £40 million fee reported by BBC Sport for the services of regular Chelsea substitute David Luiz.

When the Brazilian then went on to have a nightmare two games in the semifinal and third-place playoff of the World Cup, that fee began to look even more extortionate. PSG, though, clearly believe in his abilities.

His start to life in Paris has been successful, playing out three clean sheets in fixtures against Bastia, Evian and Saint Etienne. While those three sides cannot equate to those which he will face in the Champions League, it is all that can be asked of the player to perform against those opponents sent out in front of him.

BELO HORIZONTE, BRAZIL - JULY 08:  Thiago Silva of Brazil consoles David Luiz after Germany's 7-1 victory during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Semi Final match between Brazil and Germany at Estadio Mineirao on July 8, 2014 in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.  (Ph
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PSG too can point to the impending return of Thiago Silva, longtime partner of Luiz with the Brazil national side. The pair have long since formed an impressive partnership, and it must be pointed out that the latter's comedy show against Germany came in the absence of his colleague.

As a duo, their skill sets are highly complementary. Thiago, a more refined and elegant figure, offers a solid presence that counteracts the more impetuous and robust presence of Luiz. With his club captain a strong organiser, the pair's track record is highly impressive.

Luiz has always had the potential to be one of the very best centre-backs in the world, with his physical and technical qualities enough to set him apart from the average defender. His issue has always been with regards to positioning and concentration.

Chelsea, from the start, was set to be a difficult proposition. Luiz is far more at home in a high defensive line that is not possible alongside the ageing John Terry. His partnership with the Englishman looked unsteady from the start, and it is little surprise to see Chelsea much more comfortable when partnering Terry with the more like-minded Gary Cahill.

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In the right setup, though, Luiz can be a tremendous asset. Besides his defensive work, he is also comfortable bringing the ball out from the back and distributes well, as his current Ligue 1 pass completion rate of 93.3 percent (per WhoScored.com) would attest.

While he is currently recovering from a knee injury, Luiz will be hopeful of playing an important role in coming weeks as PSG seek to overcome APOEL, Barcelona and first Ajax in their Champions League group.

Given the ambition and economic power of the Parisian club, nothing less than comfortable progression will be accepted, and Luiz will be key to the side showing the required defensive solidity against their better opponents.

Thiago Silva's own return from injury will be important to getting the best from Luiz, while the presence of the combative Thiago Motta in defensive midfield will also be of great use to the side as a defensive force.

David Luiz's reputation has taken a battering over recent months, but there are still plenty within the game who believe in his ability as a defender, including manager Laurent Blanc, a fine centre-back himself in his playing days.

With a sizeable fee to repay and a reputation to restore, Luiz will hope for a strong start to life in Paris. A few strong showings in the Champions League and he will have gone a long way in doing so.

Luiz is a strong character whose heart and desire cannot be questioned, and it is that mental strength that suggests he will come good on his talent when put in the right surroundings.

At PSG, he may well be in the right place at the right time as the French side seek to establish themselves as a force in the European game. Luiz, too, will hope to solidify his standing in the months ahead.