It may have felt like it at times this season, but neither David Luiz’s career nor his second cycle at Chelsea is over yet.
In fact, he was recently able to return to the training ground, and if his Instagram’s any indication, he’s been clocking in some hard hours to put the frustrations of the season behind him. It wasn’t just injuries that hampered him over the past 12 months, as by all indications his relationship with Antonio Conte soured as well. But we don’t know for a fact that such differences are irresolvable; and besides, Conte is expected to be officially out any day now, right?
There is another factor that is likely to keep David Luiz around for at least another season, through the end of his current contract: his wages. Despite recent links back to Benfica, where he first made his name, according to Portuguese newspaper Record (via Sport Witness), any chances of that return happening right now are trending towards zero. Benfica simply cannot take on his €5m net annual wages and Chelsea are unlikely to let him go for free in the first place.
So maybe next summer? David certainly wouldn’t mind ending his career there.
“Benfica is a passion. Benfica supporters are passionate. When you interview a Benfica supporter, he says ‘Benfica comes first, then comes my wife and my family’. I say ‘who is not a Benfica supporter but has the opportunity of living what is Benfica... becomes a supporter [of them].’”
“[...] I think about ending my career with Benfica.”
-David Luiz; source: Canal Pilhado
When David Luiz left Chelsea the first time, he talked about his cycle here ending and a new one beginning in Paris. He then returned two years later to take care of some unfinished business, but in an interview with our friends at the London is Blue Podcast, he once again brought up the idea of cycles in terms of players’ careers. Is his cycle at Chelsea ready to end for a second time?
(Ed.note: maybe we shouldn’t count him out just yet. We all need a bit of David Luiz in our lives.)