clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Keep, Sell, Loan: David Luiz's 2016-17 season in review

New, comments

Taking a look at each and every Chelsea player's season. Next up, the golden locks of our Brazilian geezer.

Chelsea v Southampton - Premier League Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images

Appearances: 38 starts (none as substitute).

Minutes: 2,956 in Premier League; 480 in domestic cups.

Statistics (per 90 minutes, Premier League): 0.85 tackles won (41.7% success rate); 1.46 aerial duels won (55.2% successful challenges); 5.21 clearances.

David Luiz's return to Stamford Bridge on transfer deadline day took everyone by surprise. In France since 2014, he was a regular starter at Paris Saint-Germain and still had two years left on the big contract he signed on his arrival at Parc des Princes. However, David he decided to put trophies ahead of wealth, taking a pay cut for a chance at the Premier League title, which was the one achievement missing from his Chelsea trophy cabinet.

At PSG, David had shown improvement from his Chelsea years but plenty of questions remained of his suitability as a traditional center back. Nevertheless, and despite not being Chelsea's first choice for reinforcement at the position, he was still a marked upgrade over the core of centre backs led by John Terry and Gary Cahill at the beginning of the 2016-17 season.

Chelsea v Middlesbrough - Premier League Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images

In our standard four-man defence, David was just fine, but when Conte changed tactics from 4-2-4 to a 3-4-3, the stage was set for David Luiz to emerge as a true force. With him occupying a sweeper/libero role, the back three all covering for each other, and the midfield duo of Nemanja Matic and N'Golo Kanté screening in front, the Brazilian centre back had the perfect platform to showcase his abilities, including his strength in the air on headed duels as well as his renowned long range passing.

Chelsea v Tottenham Hotspur - The Emirates FA Cup Semi-Final Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

The "PlayStation player" moniker given by Gary Neville had followed David around for years, but he only needed one season to prove how wrong that assessment was. Even though David did not have as many good performances in the second half of the season he did in the first — perhaps a lasting effect of Sergio Aguero's tackle in November — he still had the best individual season of his career.

The Good

Becoming an irreplaceable part of the solution to Chelsea's defensive struggles at the start of the season.

The Bad

David was never quite the same after our first match against Manchester City (and Sergio Aguero's tackle) and it showed in his performance against Tottenham at White Hart Lane. It was far from a good night for our defence.

The Best

After four attempts, David finally fulfilled his dream of winning a Premier League title, validating his and Chelsea's choice to engineer this fateful reunion.

Chelsea v Sunderland - Premier League Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images

Verdict

David might not have been Chelsea's plan-A in the summer for defensive reinforcement, but thankfully it all turned out for the best.

David Luiz brought great influence to the team on and off the pitch. His giddy geezerisms were sorely missed while he was in PSG, but hopefully they will now be with us for a long time — he's a keep, obviously.

Along with Azpilicueta, Cahill and many others, David is yet another candidate to fill in as captain after John Terry's departure from the club. A dressing room full leaders is never a bad thing.

Poll

What would you do with David Luiz next season?

This poll is closed

  • 92%
    Keep
    (1640 votes)
  • 3%
    Sell
    (68 votes)
  • 3%
    Loan
    (57 votes)
1765 votes total Vote Now