David Luiz re-signed for Chelsea in the summer of 2016 and in his first season back, he led his side to the English Premier League. In his second season, he’s had a turbulent time, to say the least.
The last time David Luiz set foot on a football pitch in a Chelsea shirt was on the 5th of February, that’s over two months ago. That match was a heavy 4-1 defeat to Watford at Vicarage Road, a loss that David Luiz was blamed for. For a player of his calibre and stature, he doesn’t deserve such treatment. In fact, this season, the 30-year-old has made a total of 15 appearances, spending the rest of the time on the bench. The Italian manager has basically marginalised David Luiz from his first-team plans, relegating him to a substitute.
It was back in November that Antonio Conte first dropped the Brazilian. It’s not even as if Luiz was just dropped from the starting XI; he was omitted entirely from the squad that faced Manchester United (5/11/17) at Stamford Bridge. It’s reported that Conte was furious Luiz questioned him over his tactics in the Blues 3-0 UCL defeat to Roma a few days earlier. Since then, Luiz’s appearances in the first team have been sporadic at best.
Despite the reports of a bust-up, Antonio Conte has insistently denied the claims and played down the rift. However, when asked about the Brazilian’s future in November, he nonchalantly replied:
“I don’t know. Andreas Christensen is the present and the future for Chelsea.”
That didn’t bode well for the Brazil international, so it was surprising to see that he wasn’t sold in January. However, if things stay the same, David Luiz will all but certainly be leaving Stamford Bridge this summer. For Chelsea, that’s a loss, but for the Brazilian, he’ll definitely have a plethora of suitors seeking his signature. He was even linked with Real Madrid a few months ago, that’s the calibre of player we’re dealing with here.
Should Chelsea hold onto David Luiz? Why not. To have a top-quality centre back in your ranks is never a bad idea. Of course, in the short-term disharmony is not good but by next season, Antonio Conte won’t be Chelsea manager anymore.
The Blues currently sit 5th in league with nothing to play for but the FA Cup. Antonio Conte has taken Chelsea from the pinnacle of English football to 5th with no Champions League qualification in sight. It’s said that the Italian and higher-ups at the club have been at loggerheads all season, as the 48-year-old believes players were signed without his approval, thus forcing him to manage players he doesn’t want. Because of that, Conte has refused to pledge his future to Chelsea beyond this season.
So, for David Luiz, he could easily stay at Stamford Bridge for next season as he will be on a level playing field with other defenders under a new manager. A field in which he is comfortably the best defender at Chelsea.