Mastermind Player of the Month (January 2017): David Luiz

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If you haven’t watched a minute of Premier League action this season you may be surprised to see this name claiming the number one spot in the world of football as The Mastermind‘s Player of the Month for January. But in truth, David Luiz has been arguably the best defender in the Premier League this season and has been an integral component to Antonio Conte’s resilient Chelsea side that look destined to win the 2016-17 Premier League title. He has been brilliant this season and after a fantastic set of performances in January it is finally time for The Mastermind to eulogize him.

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When David Luiz first arrived back at the Bridge, many questioned the move. Some even called it ‘purely political’ claiming that Abramovich and PSG must have had some kind of behind the scenes agreement to bring Luiz back to Stamford Bridge because surely “Antonio Conte would never want a defender as rash as him”. But to the shock of nearly everyone, after four fantastic months, David Luiz has now established himself as one of the Premier League’s best defenders again. The Brazilian defender has hardly put a foot wrong since that 3-0 defeat to Arsenal on September 24th that seems to mark the day that changed everything around for Antonio Conte’s men this season. Since the Italian manager changed to a back three, with Luiz as the sweeper, the deepest of the three, Chelesea have won 15 of 17 games and even tied Arsenal’s record most consecutive wins in the Premier League era, a fantastic achievement in which the Brazilian was central to.

His best month of action this season though came this past month, January, as he was the Blues’ most important player. Chelsea claimed two wins and a draw from four matches in January and the 29-year old was always on top of his game, even in defeat to Tottenham. He was responsible for taming Jamie Vardy in Chelsea’s 3-0 win over Leicester City, gave Hull City’s centre forwards no time on the ball in the side’s 2-0 win and then picked up his first Player of the Week award last time out for his amazing performance against Liverpool in the Blues’ 1-1 draw. One of the most impressive things about David Luiz’s game this season, which really became clear in January, is just how mature he has looked in Chelsea’s defense, especially when you compare him to the last time he was at the Bridge. Luiz has been an integral leader in that back-line and playing as the sweeper has acted as the last resort if all else fails, always stepping up to the task and dealing with any form of danger wonderfully well. His discipline has also been magnificent this season, picking up just 3 yellow cards in his 19 appearances, none of which came in January. All and all, it was a fantastic month for David Luiz even if Chelsea couldn’t match the amazing standards that they set in the previous three months of play. The Brazilian born free-kick taking legend has now established himself where he always should have been, as one of the best defenders in the world and is The Mastermind’s Player of the Month in the world of football for January 2017.

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