The Senegal international has long been linked with a move away from St. James’ Park as a result of a release clause, thought to be around £7.5m, inserted into his contract from when he left West Ham United.
As I discussed yesterday, my real qualm is with our defence at the moment, and with two clean sheets in a row, it is clear to see they are heading in the right direction.
Nonetheless, with Luiz now breaking into our midfield five, we could well do with the addition of a centre-back to the fray, with John Terry injured, that leaves just Ivanovic and Cahill as the fit centre-backs, whilst Cesar Azpilicueta is now our preferred right-back
David Luiz is better suited to midfield. Fans know that, pundits know that, and now, Rafa Benitez knows that.“When we have more bodies and options at centre-back, it will be easier to use him in midfield” stated Benitez last week.
Of course, with the indefinite injury to John Terry, who may well be out for the whole Christmas schedule, it is unrealistic to ask Luiz to play midfield week-in-week-out, as that would mean switching Ivanovic to the centre to partner Cahill, with no reserve.
Twenty days, and seven games. That is the task in front of us. Well, I say task, the real task is to win as many of these seven as possible.
Five of those are Premier League games, arguably the most important, and three of them are away. When you look at the fixtures, they aren’t the most challenging on paper, until you dig a little deeper.
One £50m move for a striker and the pressure is going to on, that’s a given. It’s the fee Chelsea paid Liverpool for Fernando Torres a little under two years ago and it’s fair to say the deal hasn’t worked out as well as many had hoped.
A little over 20 goals in close to 100 appearances, averaging at around one every four games, isn’t the ideal return for a striker so prolific during his days at Anfield and as an Atletico Madrid youngster.
Bradford City shocked Arsenal in last weeks quarter-final clash, and you can understand why Leeds fans will look at that for inspiration tonight.
Although this game certainly has a different feel to it. Fierce rivalry doesn’t quite cut it. Littered throughout the 60s and 70s, were a few clashed that would be remembered for decades to come.
Us Chelsea fans should be used to frustration by now shouldn’t we? Ever since that Champions League win, there has been head-banging at Stamford Bridge than your average heavy metal concert.
Lets be honest, most of us thought the Super Cup and Club World Cup were ours to lose. Favourites in both, we were undone by Falcao first, and then ourselves on Sunday, coming back to the Bridge trophy-less, as well as being the first winners of the Champions League to exit at the group-stage phase, its hardly been a great few months.
‘A 10 year old controlling a Playstation character’. That’s what Gary Neville had to say about our big-haired Brazilian, after an inept performance live on Sky Sports last season.
Fast, strong, and towering at 6ft 2, he certainly fits the mould of your typical central defender. Although that is where the comparison stops. Put a ball at his feet, and he looks straight at the opposition goalkeeper, whether he fancies a mazy run, or a 40 yard strike, not many people know quite what goes on inside that head of his.
With each passing minute, the transfer window ticks closer to opening and allowing teams to strengthen. While players and teams are far more apprehensive to utilise the ability to sign players, it still doesn’t stop rumours circulating to attract interest in the next prodigious youngster. One of those is Lazar Markovic of Partizan Belgrade, who has been linked with a move to Chelsea.
The 18-year-old has been linked with a big money move across the continent since the summer and has yet to disappoint his potential suitors yet, having netted six times in 12 goals for the Serbian giants, while amassing six caps for the national team.
After a first win in eight games in the Premier League, it seems our rut may well have ended, and what better place to build confidence than at the Club World Cup this week.
It has been clear that goals were the problem, scoring them that is, as we only managed six goals in the seven games where we failed to record a win, compare that to nine in the last two, notably with Fernando Torres getting four of them.
Congratulations Andre Villas-Boas. Just moments after the ‘achievement’ of qualifying from the Europa League stages, knocking out the European giants of NK Maribor, and Panathinaikos, our former manager couldn’t resist talking about us in his post-match interview.
It is the fact that we have been awarded a Europa League spot that seems to have ruffled his feathers, as he piped up saying “I think its extremely unfair” whilst sounding awfully like a disgruntled private school kid who had been told he couldn’t stay up to watch Match of the Day.