Chelsea defeated Mexican side Monterrey to advance to the FIFA Club World Cup final against Brazilian side Corinthians on Thursday and there was one piece of Rafa Benitez’s team selection that gained some attention on Twitter. Brazilian defender David Luiz was picked to play in an advanced role in the midfield for the fixture which has been an option Chelsea fans have been calling for on many occasions in the past.
He played just over an hour in the position before being replaced by Frank Lampard, much to the appreciation of the fans in Japan a standing ovation broke out; whether it was for Luiz’s performance or Lampard’s entrance is unsure but it would not have been unfair to have been standing for the occasionally maligned centre-back.
He looked more than competent in the position. Controlled in possession and not afraid to push forward he was playing like a Sunday league goalkeeper given a run-out upfront demonstrating his vast array of skills such as long passing, dribbling ability and even a couple of stepovers thrown in for good measure.
Considering Oriol Romeu’s recent injury setback it has been reported that Benitez would be searching for a new holding midfield player in January; including options such as a Michael Essien recall, Xabi Alonso pursuit and even trying to sign Sunday opponent Paulinho from Corinthians.
However based on this performance it could be they already have a perfectly suitable option in the form of Luiz with Branislav Ivanovic and Gary Cahill covering the defensive positions and John Terry nearing a comeback.
David Luiz is having so much fun in midfield. Stepovers, flicks, 30 yard through-balls. Bless him.— Iain Macintosh (@iainmacintosh) December 13, 2012
David luiz playing exceptionally in central midifield? Good job Benitez #KTBFFH— Shafiq Norhisham ✌(@Norshafq) December 13, 2012
David Luiz is having one good game in midfield against a nothing team from Japan and everyone is going on like he's Zidane #PipeDown— Muir Moyles (@87Miles87) December 13, 2012
@davidluiz_4 played very well in the midfield today...weldone geezer!— Oladimeji (@Horlhadimaeji) December 13, 2012
Love how rafa played David Luiz as an attacking midfielder in today's FIFA world club semi! He's so much better going forward!!— Ross Ayling (@Ayling11) December 13, 2012
Good win for Chelsea today! The 3 amigo were excellent, Torres looked sharp and David Luiz makes a good holding midfielder!— Daniel Diack (@dandiack) December 13, 2012
Apparently David Luiz absolutely ran the show from a holding midfield position. EVERYONE has said he should play there, About time!— Benjamin McBride (@thewaster1) December 13, 2012
Must say David Luiz did quite well in midfield— Gabriel Gleeson (@GG_Wolfgang) December 13, 2012
It's taken 2 years, 70 appearances and 4 managers to realise @davidluiz_4 best position! Superb display from Sideshow Bob in midfield today!— Jonesy (@NickJonesCFC) December 13, 2012
Would you like to see David Luiz playing in midfield?