David Luiz always had the makings of a great defender. From the moment he had his first game for Chelsea years ago, he showed that he had what it takes to someday be the perfect replacement for John Terry. However, there were key elements of his game that needed to be improved upon if he is to truly be hailed as a wonderful centre-back. His man-marking was poor, and his positional play was not quite there. His erratic nature on the pitch earned him much criticism, and made critics label him all sorts of names. It all probably got to the Chelsea management too, and the Brazilian was eventually sold to French giants, PSG.
During his spell in Paris, David Luiz took time to better his game, and improve on his general play. I remember our last tie with PSG during his time there; he and Thiago Silver particularly made life difficult for our attackers. He even got the goal that ended our participation in Europe in 2015. I’m not sure what is responsible – sheer will to grow and prove critics wrong, or good management from Laurent Blanc, his coach at the time. But the bottom line is it worked, and Luiz has definitely been a whole different player than he was.
When Chelsea bought him back last summer, there were fears for our defence, especially considering that it was our weak point at that time, but the acquisition has proven a very wise and useful one. Luiz has been terrific for Chelsea this season. His centre-back pairing with Cahill is arguably the tightest in the division. He’s more composed, he makes good choices with the ball, and his positional awareness is on a whole new level. Obviously he was a better player from his PSG days, but I feel he’s even grown more from that time. Being at Chelsea, and working with Antonio Conte has definitely breathed more belief and life into the Brazilian. There are still talks of Chelsea acquiring another centre-back, but with Luiz playing like he is, there may not been need for that after all.