Analysis - Why David Luiz may be axed by Jose Mourinho

There is a very good argument that David Luiz will be axed by Jose Mourinho if he doesn’t improve various aspects of his game.

There has already been a little bit of talk over the possibility of David Luiz leaving Chelsea this summer with Barcelona reportedly interested in the Brazilian centre back.

That could now become a grim reality for Chelsea fans and although it would be hugely unpopular, there is basis to suggest that it could happen during Mourinho’s second spell in charge.

Mourinho seems to want to use the Brazilian as a defender because that’s the position he’s played for the majority of his career.

He did step out of defence and perform admirably in a holding midfield role for Rafa Benitez but throughout his career, David Luiz has played as a central defender.

Interestingly his stats suggest there are clear grounds for improvement, which show he needs to improve in the centre of defence in the Premier League.

The concern Mourinho seems to have with David Luiz is the fact he gives the ball away too frequently.

He averaged a successful pass rate of 81.1% in Premier League and European football last season, which doesn’t seem too bad on the surface but it’s inferior when compared to some of the percentages of players Mourinho used and faced during his time in La Liga.

That’s one of the reasons behind the reports which have suggested the Portuguese coach is considering axing David Luiz in what seems like a bizarre decision.

Mourinho will also point to the disciplinary side of David Luiz’s game as another reason to doubt him despite his ability.

He picked up eight yellow cards last season in the Premier League, just two away from what would have been another longer suspension.

As far as Mourinho is concerned that’s far too many bookings and a possible reason he only picked up two man of the match awards in the Premier League, which is a fairly low number for such a high profile player.

With John Terry unlikely to play every single week under Mourinho and with Branislav Ivanovic possibly having to cover at right back, Mourinho needs complete reliability from the centre back who plays alongside Gary Cahill in central defence.

He’s also only winning two aerial challenges per game which is not a great number for someone who is predominantly a centre back.

That number needs to significantly increase if Chelsea are to ‘hide their weaknesses’ as the Portuguese coach said in his first press conference as the club’s new boss.

It’s still highly unlikely that Mourinho will give him the boot but don’t be entirely surprised at it happening if David Luiz shows no indication of changing his basic game as a defensive player.

Do you think Mourinho has a case for selling him? Do you think mifield is his best position?

image: © Ben Sutherland

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