Can Filipe Luis buck the trend with his move to Chelsea?

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Chelsea are expected to complete the signing of Brazilian full-back Filipe Luis for £20 million from Atletico Madrid, can he succeed where countrymen in his position have failed?

Filipe Luis was in fine form last term for Atletico Madrid last term under Diego Simeone who led them to the heights of the La Liga title and the Champions League Final.

Now the Brazilian has signed for Chelsea and hopes to bring his success from last term with him to his performances in the Premier League under Jose Mourinho.

Luis was not part of the shambolic Brazilian defending at the World Cup, but that game was a reminder of some of the struggles his countrymen have faced in England in the past.

The 7-1 defeat to Germany saw David Luiz display in that dreadful performance exactly why Mourinho did not see him and reliable or trustworthy enough to continue to be apart of Chelsea’s back line.

In the past there have been some superb defenders from Brazil – we can point to the likes of Luis Pereira, Aldair, Domingos da Guia, Lucio, Carlos Alberto Torres, Djalma Santos, Nilton Santos, Cafu and, of course, Roberto Carlos but crucially, one is troubled to find one Brazilian defender who has really been reliable in the Premier League.

We can see that fullbacks especially, such as Dani Alves and Marcelo have done very well in Spain whilst Thiago Silva, Brazil’s current team captain when he is not suspended, does a fine job in France but Luiz was exposed as lacking in responsibility, focus, leadership, organization and quality in the Premier League, as was his predecessor at Chelsea, Alex, who could never hold down a first team place.

In fact, the only Brazilian defender who has had relative success in the Premier League is Rafael and his defensive work is still open to criticism.

Brazil is one of the world’s greatest footballing nations and they have given us so much to delight in over the years but defending has rarely been one of their players' greatest attributes. They have tended, across history, to consider defending as scoring more goals than the opposition and, for the most part, it worked. 

There is not a single player in the Premier League at present from Brazil who one would consider a top-level defender – not one – there are some fine defensive midfielders in Sandro, Paulinho, Lucas Leiva, and Fernandinho.

If Luis brings his form from Atletico Madrid last season he can change that, but he will have to buck a trend to do it.

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