Oh David Luiz, you are the love of my life, oh David Luiz…wait, what? Mourinho wants to sell you? To Barcelona!!? I know we all love a bit of silly season, but the logic in Chelsea actually wanting to sell David Luiz is beyond comprehensible. Yes, I take your point that Chelsea are not a club known for its rational approach to football. Nevertheless, even we are not likely to make such a catastrophic mistake.
Let us first take a look at the particulars surrounding the apparent Luiz move. David Luiz is contracted until the end of the 2017 season – essentially a four season deal. With this contract in place there is little to no pressure on Chelsea having to entertain selling a player dangerously close to leaving for free. This eliminates a RVP type situation of having Luiz go for a sum of money that is drastically below his true worth.
Following on from the contract is the matter of Luiz’s valuation. Due to the nature of his contract Chelsea could feasibly demand a record breaking sum if ever a transfer was to happen. Chelsea reportedly paid £21.4m for Luiz, whose value has skyrocketed since then on the back of a series of swashbuckling displays that are slowly winning rightful plaudits. In terms of style he is the perfect centre-back for a team like Barcelona, hence the media speculation. Nevertheless their offer of €25m is drastically below anything sensible. Those odious moral arbiters of the game always like to unsettle and pinch their players on the cheap. Such a nice club really.
If you consider Luiz’s age (twenty-six), suitability to Barcelona and his burgeoning reputation Chelsea should only entertain an offer in the £35m+ bracket. The dearth of truly world class centre backs means players with real ability come at a premium. If Chelsea sold Luiz, who is currently our best central defender, we would need to spend over £25m to replace him. If Barcelona or any other side really want him then we are in a position to demand top dollar. A side effect of our recent brilliant transfer dealings is the potential for a drastic sell on profit. If someone wanted to buy Thibaut Courtois now they would have to pay 3-4 times the initial £7.9m paid for him. Same goes for Kevin De Bruyne.
For those who watch Chelsea regularly the marked improvement of Luiz has been clear. The jejune view of dated pundits is slowly changing after Gary Neville revised his “Playstation” comments. Neville remarked “It wasn't 'I don't think he is a good player and he never will be a good player' like it has been interpreted for the last two years. He was sensational against United at Old Trafford and there are incredible merits in him.”
There is a reason that Real Madrid and Barcelona are linked to David Luiz and that reason is that he is a quality footballer. Every aspect of his game has improved this season and while the odd error exists is that not the case for every centre back? Certainly anytime Luiz makes a slight error it gets blown into the high heavens. When Lukaku beasted Vertonghen this season, where was the mass hysteria and condemnation? Or how about Kompany, who has looked half the player this season?
The reality is that Barcelona’s paltry purported offer highlights the fact that they cannot afford him. Real Madrid ultimately can find the money to pay upwards of £35m for him, but given Barcelona’s capture of Neymar do their priorities lie elsewhere with Gareth Bale? That leaves Monaco and PSG as being the only other clubs with the potential in terms of hard cash to buy him. Aside from the money on offer I just cannot see Luiz moving to play in the French league.
What these rumours do not account for is the close bond that Luiz has with the club. Ultimately every player in world football has their head turned by the likes of Barcelona, but you only have to glance at Luiz’s adaptation to life in London to see why he would have no qualms staying. He is adored by the fans and is seen as the future captain of this club. The chance to lead a very talented and young squad into a new Mourinho era is certainly a temptation in its own right.
Taking things back to the key variable in this longwinded equation is evaluating Mourinho and his opinion of Luiz. Somewhere along the line some demented journalist has taken it upon himself to categorically state that Luiz is not a Mourinho style defender. That because of Luiz’s flamboyant style Mourinho will want to banish him into the wastelands. What utter nonsense. In every Mourinho side that has won a league title Mourinho has always had a ball playing centre back: Carvalho (x 2), Lucio, Pepé and Sergio Ramos. Why do these revisionist idiots get paid a fortune to convert nonsense into established facts?
If Mourinho finds a reliable centre back partner and imbues Luiz with more of his technical savvy the potential is utterly ridiculous. To even contemplate his release is. Naturally, if an obscene offer comes in then due process should be followed. However, given the above, the level of offer necessary to trigger a discussion is probably too great for any club to entertain. A Mourinho coached Luiz becomes a more aware, disciplined player with the capability of changing a game from the back. Couple that with a new look midfield and a striker worthy of playing in front of Hazard and Mata, then next season could be very special indeed.