The footballing world got a good account of Chelsea's spending power when Fernando Torres was signed for a British record transfer fee on the deadline day of the January transfer window.
In hindsight, that signing did little to enhance Chelsea's attack, and, to make matters worse, Torres hasn't opened his Chelsea account yet.
After the massive outlay, Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich would have expected Torres to be an instant success at Stamford Bridge. However, as and when the events unfolded in front of him, Abramovich could do little but be disappointed at the awful showings from the Spaniard.
Although the Russian oligarch's record signing failed miserably, the other multi-million acquisition from Benfica hit the ground running.
Abramovich can take solace from the fact that his £21 million defender, David Luiz, adjusted so well to the league that he's taken the defensive as well as the offensive duties on his young shoulders and with notable success too. This is one signing that has instilled much needed life into Chelsea's lacklustre season, which was on the brink of imploding at one point.
Everyone was expecting Torres—whose arrival overshadowed the signing of Luiz—to conjure his magic in the colours of Chelsea. However, the expectations of the fans were fulfilled by the frizzy-haired Brazilian.
To say that Luiz is a brilliant defender would be an understatement. The exquisitely executed volley against Manchester United speaks volume about the talent possessed by Luiz. The dazzling defender is not afraid of venturing forward and is as comfortable in an attacking position as in a defensive role.
Luiz is a cultured, ball-playing centre-back with an eye for goal. He's comfortable in possession and is incisive with his passing. Being a Brazilian, Luiz has undoubted flair which makes him a joy to watch.
He also adds a new dimension to Chelsea's attack; making full use of Luiz's amazing passing ability, the Blues can build the attack from the back and teams will also have to mark Luiz tightly thereby allowing Chelsea midfielders more space and time.
If you thought Luiz was just a ball-playing defender then think again. He's rock-solid at the back and rushes the opposition with his quick pressing style. He won't shy away from a duel with the most intimidating of strikers.
If that hasn't amazed you then this will: less than a decade ago that Luiz, having been released by the mighty Sao Paulo in Brazil, was told by Second Division club, Vitoria Bahia, that he would never be tall or strong enough to be a professional footballer(!) See where he is now and how he has made a fool of them! One should never judge a book by its cover.
Despite being such a top prodigy on the field, he's a humble, courteous, compassionate, spiritual person off it. He's quite amicable and helpful. It remains to be seen how long he will remain the same as being in the company of a man with adulterous ethics could impact him negatively. More so when that player happens to be his partner at the heart of the defence. Let's hope that doesn't happen.
Back in January, criticisms were rife when Chelsea splashed £21m for a 23-year-old defender from a sub-standard league. The critics felt Chelsea were paying too much for a player who was signed for less than £half-a-million by Benfica in 2007. When you consider that Manchester United had paid £30m in 2002 for Rio Ferdinand, you would wonder how much is too much for Luiz.
Luiz, however, silenced all his critics instantaneously with awe-inspiring, sturdy performances and promises even more as he's still improving at 23.
Fans, too, are growing fond of Luiz, and as a result, the "Luiz wig" is a hot buy at Stamford Bridge. He's already brought the feel good factor back to Chelsea and is undoubtedly the most promising and talented defender in the Premiership. His progression may only end when he becomes the best defender of the English Premier League, and from what we have seen so far, that day is not too far away.
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