What is Luiz’s best position? In the defence or defensive midfield role? I’m sure many a Chelsea fan would scratch their head when posed with this question.
Presumably brought in as a long term replacement for John Terry he hasn’t lived up to the hype. Expectations were great when he was signed in Jan 2011 and he started quite well under Ancelotti with some swashbuckling performances against Manchester Utd and Manchester City. It was the next season with AVB in charge I saw some glimpses of his error prone nature. Though there was redemption for him in the Champions league final where he put up a wonderful performance alongside the whole team
Fast-forward to year 2013 when Benitez moved him to playing as defensive midfielder and it paid dividends but still there was always this fear of Luiz being caught out of position. The most erratic of his performances always comes when Chelsea is losing or not in firm grasp of a game. I wince anytime Luiz is with the ball or without it because he either takes an unnecessary shot or goes for an ill timed tackle borne out of frustration. Infact he was overwhelmed and outplayed in the Europa finals against Benfica playing as a DM.
This season has been no different and it is just sheer luck that we have a coach like Mourinho who has zero tolerance for such errors. Initially Mourinho claimed Luiz’s position was with the back four but with intial errors from Luiz in that position this season he(Mou) has moved Luiz to DM mostly in matches against the top 4 and it has been effective especially when he’s paired with Matic.
Which is why I think come next season Luiz has to either improve his play at central defence or risk playing as DM in top 4 matches alone, thus reducing himself to a fringe player. Mikel may or may not leave especially after witnessing the partnership of Luiz and Matic fail woefully against Palace with the latter losing possession 24 times(something that wouldn’t happen with Mikel), and also similar possession loss against Villa. Ginkel is already on the road to fitness. Romeu returns too(he may be loaned or sold). Nathan Ake and Nathaniel Chalobah are prospects to be considered. Only time will tell what role Luiz will be cast finally.