Is the signing of Marcos Alonso or David Luiz more important to Chelsea?
With John Terry leaving the Liberty Stadium after Chelsea’s 2-2 draw on crutches and being side-lined for up to 10 days, the Chelsea captain is set to miss important matches against Liverpool and Leicester leaving a spot open for David Luiz and Marcos Alonso waiting in the wings.
Antonio Conte will pride himself on his side’s defensive performances like most Italians but not the one his side gave on Sunday and the re-signing of the very inconsistent Luiz may not improve things. In his first spell at Stamford Bridge, Luiz proved an effective battering ram but lacked the game reading and defending knowledge of his centre-back partner John Terry.
Despite scoring six goals and earning several man of the match awards, Luiz proved a liability at times, vacating his position and rash tackles proved costly on occasions but was still very much a home crowd favourite.
After being sold for a staggering £50 million to PSG, Luiz enjoyed two successful years partnering fellow Brazilian teammate Thiago Silva winning the French league twice in a nine trophy hall during his time in Paris. Although, his career and that of Silva’s will always be marked by the humiliating 7-1 defeat to eventual winners Germany in Brazil’s own World Cup in 2014.
During his time in England, pundits regularly said that Luiz would fit better in midfield, his strong, athletic build and technical ability would make him a good midfielder but in every team, you would then be forced to sacrifice a regular player in that position, which in the end Jose Mourinho and Laurent Blanc decided against.
However, would the introduction of Conte’s 3-5-2 formation he used at Juventus and Italy bring the best out of Luiz and the rest of the squad? Luiz as the third centre-back would be given more freedom to go forward while still having the balance of his defensive qualities. 3-5-2 is yet to have a run of success in the Premier League – it was experimented with by Roberto Mancini at Manchester City and now Pep Guardiola is playing in a similar way with his defence.
It almost seems set in stone that Luiz will start against Liverpool on Friday night but why should he be given the nod over Marcos Alonso, because he was bought for £21 million and then again for £35 million? This is a good argument but Alonso deserves his chance, originally a left-back Alonso looks to be changing more towards centre-back and comes with his own hefty price tag has every chance of partnering Cahill.
The Spaniard started in Real Madrid’s academy but was sold to Bolton Wanderers in 2010 and had a breakthrough season winning The Bolton’s News Player of the Year. Alonso was then sold to Serie A side Fiorentina during his spell in Italy he earned 85 appearances scoring five goals in the process. On 1st January 2014, he was loaned to Sunderland and made 20 appearances in the back half of the Premier League season.
Conte would have seen Alonso in the Italian League during his time at Juventus and it seems like he is a fan giving him a five-year deal at Chelsea. Alonso is Premier League ready so it is not like he would be throwing him into the deep end. He earned a man of the match performance in the 2-1 win over Manchester United in the first leg of the Capital One Cup semi-final, so he is not scared of the big stage.
The injury to John Terry is a loss but it was always touch and go whether he would be with the club when Conte arrived. Kurt Zouma looks a player of immense potential but he’s currently out with a long lasting injury, so someone needs to step up.
Whether Luiz can be trusted will play a big part not only in the game against Liverpool, should he be picked, but also on Chelsea’s title challenge. He is so hot and cold he could either score the winning header in a huge game or be the man who makes the vital mistake.
Chelsea look strong and without the distraction of Europe they could mount a serious challenge for the title but the game against Liverpool will provide the first real challenge for Conte. The Reds will be full of confidence after their impressive performance against reigning champions Leicester.
Featured Image: All Rights Reserved by Scott Gair
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