Grading Chelsea's £16m signing Filipe Luis - ideal Cole replacement; but for how long?

Stamford Bridge

Chelsea finally agreed a deal to sign Atletico Madrid left back Filipe Luis this week - but how good is the move from a Blues point of view?

Chelsea have already added midfielder Cesc Fabregas and striker Diego Costa, and now the Blues have snapped up Costa' former Atletico team mate Filipe Luis. After Ashley Cole was allowed to leave on a free transfer to Roma this summer, manager Jose Mourinho had to bring in another left back having used right back Cesar Azpilicueta there for large spells last season. He's found his man in Luis, but how does the deal grade out for Chelsea?

Positives

At 28, Luis is experienced and doesn't require any development. Adept in both attack and defence, Luis has gradually been establishing himself as one of the top full backs in the world during his time in the Spanish capital, and was bizarrely left out of Brazil's World Cup squad in order to accommodate Maxwell as Marcelo's backup. The former Deportivo la Coruna man is pacey, energetic and possesses great quality into the box from crossing situations. He's coming off one of the most successful seasons of his career having won La Liga and reached the Champions League final, and that can only be a good thing for Chelsea as he's become used to winning. Needing a marauding full back to replace Cole, Chelsea have landed the ideal player to fill that role.

Negatives

Luis turns 29 in August as may not have many years to give Chelsea. Cole was let go at the age of 33, and if that's the case with Luis then the Blues have paid £16m for just four years of service. Younger, similarly attacking players like Sporting Lisbon's Marcos Rojo and Wolfsburg's Ricardo Rodriguez could've been available for cheaper, and would've given the Blues longer-term service. This is particularly concerning because Luis will have to have a settling in period in English football, and the more time it takes him to get to the top of his game, the less time he will have to make a long-term impact.

Grade: B+

Luis' attributes make him an ideal replacement for Cole, but the main question marks are over his age and the fee Chelsea have paid as a result of that. The 28-year-old has all the technical and athletic attributes needed to be a success in the Premier League, and whilst it may take him some time to get used to English football, he should give them three to four years of excellent service, given his performances in La Liga and the Champions League.

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