David Luiz wins praise for a fine display for Chelsea against Manchester City
Among the many fine Chelsea performances last night, it was the display of the Brazilian which was perhaps the timeliest.
The 26-year-old’s future has been the subject of speculation from the moment José Mourinho returned to the club last summer.
Suspicion remains that Luiz will be the next big name used to generate funds for squad strengthening in the next transfer window. With Luiz expected to star for Brazil at the World Cup, the likes of Bayern Munich and Barcelona are not likely to put off by a high price tag.
However, last night Luiz put in the kind of performance which should cause manager José Mourinho to think twice about letting him go if a bid does arrive.
Luiz and Nemanja Matic formed an impressive combination in front of the back four. With John Terry and Gary Cahill the first-choice pairing at centre-half, defensive midfield is the only vacancy for Luiz to fill and he did so impressively.
The ex-Benfica star broke up numerous attacks and used his technique to drive Chelsea forward — most noticeably in the fine move which ended with Samuel Eto’o striking the crossbar just before half-time.
Despite his fine performance, Luiz grew tense every time Mourinho’s name was mentioned during a post-match interview at the Etihad Stadium.
When asked how much self-belief the manager’s presence has installed in the team, he replied: “When you sign for a big club you need to believe in every game,” before walking off towards the team coach.