Chelsea will not sell David Luiz, one of Mourinho’s untouchables


Sideshow Bob has come a long way in two and a half years at Stamford Bridge.

Back then The Frizzy One was mocked by experts aplenty for his ill-disciplined approach to defending; now the Chelsea star is the subject of a £35million bid from Barcelona. Wow.

The Blues immediately rejected the offer, insisting the Brazilian centre-back won’t be sold this summer under any circumstances.

We’ve heard that familiar party line painfully wheeled out a lot in the corridors of White Hart Lane, Anfield and Old Trafford in recent weeks, but despite rumours which have hinted at the contrary, I believe Chelsea when they say he’s staying put. As I see it, David Luiz is one of Jose’s new untouchables.

While I wouldn’t claim all modern day players are robots, moulded from the same factory floor, I do sometimes wonder if I’d be able to tell the difference between many of them if their name and number wasn’t printed on the back of the shirt.

Coaching at professional clubs around the world is so organised an efficient these days - and players are brought into the fold at such a young age - that by the time we see them in action, a certain type of polish shines off the lot of them.

All are technically sound, all have had the right things drilled into them, and all have been carefully manufactured to ensure they do a solid job in first team football. The trouble is the instinct and flair which caught the eye initially, has often been coached out of them. It’s not that easy to differentiate between footballers any more.

Luiz is, of course, different. Not only does he look unique, but he also plays the game in a more natural and uninhibited way than most.

While I’m sure his various managers have pulled their hair out when failing in their attempts to coach him ‘proper’ defensive skills, his retention of the qualities that got him noticed by scouts in the first place, sets him apart.

The 26-year-old is a free spirit. Yes, he will cost his side the odd goal with an absolute howler but his talent, impulse and freedom of thought will also help to prevent more goals than the majority of his more ‘reliable’ team-mates put together.

Statistically, that’s backed up. Since January 2011, Chelsea averaged 2.02 points with him compared with 1.58 points per game when he’s been missing. Last season in isolation, the Blues let in 1.78 goals when Luiz was absent; with him in their team that number dropped to just 0.79.

Mourinho has gone on record as admitting Luiz can improve as a defender, and that’s true. Since arriving at Stamford Bridge in Playstation mode he’s already blossomed tremendously, and that will continue.

His other assets clearly outweigh the faults. The Brazilian will press in areas he’s not supposed to venture into and end up winning the ball back for his team. He’ll stride forward and spring an attack where others may have played the simple, sideways pass, and as we witnessed last year he will also chip in with some spectacular goals.

Barcelona aren’t silly. They wouldn’t throw upwards of £35million away on a defender that can’t defend. The Spanish giants know there’s more to Luiz than meets the untrained eye, and they realise the benefits of owning a player that has personality in abundance.

In each of the last five seasons, Luiz has won a trophy; in 2010 and 2012 he bagged two. The experts may have laughed at the outset, but it’s he who’s smiling now.

If Chelsea hang on to this winner, and make him the leader of Mourinho’s new era, it would be a sensible move. He’s different, but in a good way.


Luiz's Chelsea are slight favourites to win back the Premier League next season - back them at 3.00.

Read more "Professionally Speaking" columns by Adrian Clarke here.