Chelsea could repeat Luiz blinder with £60m swoop for "absolute tank"

footballfancast.com 95 days ago

A player returning for a second bite of the cherry is a recurring theme at Stamford Bridge in recent years.

Chelsea have become victims of their own downfall over the years, from letting go of talented academy stars to spending recklessly in the transfer market, the Blues haven't helped themselves in their quest for success.

Much like handing over a rare Match Attax card to a friend and instantly regretting that decision, Chelsea have offloaded talented players in the past and then brought them back to the club years down the line.

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Related Pochettino is eyeing up a couple of players ahead of the January transfer window

David Luiz is the greatest example of the above strategy in motion. Initially captured from Benfica for £21.3m as a highly-rated centre back in 2011, Luiz was sold to PSG for £50m three years later before costing the club £34m to bring him back in 2016.

Luiz isn't the only player that the club have regretted selling as demonstrated by their interest in re-signing academy graduate Marc Guehi, who left Stamford Bridge for £18m two years ago.

Chelsea transfer news - Marc Guehi

According to 90min, Guehi is being 'closely watched' by his former employers and the report states that he would be open to returning to his boyhood club.

The 23-year-old has risen to stardom at Crystal Palace and his excellent form has seen him claim a regular place in Gareth Southgate's England squad.

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Such form has not only warranted interest from Mauricio Pochettino and the Blues, with Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur and Newcastle United all tracking the centre-back, while German giants Bayern Munich have expressed their intrigue towards capturing the Palace stalwart.

Whilst Guehi has no plans to leave Selhurst Park in the January transfer window as he seeks to avoid any move that could harm his chances of making the Three Lions squad for next summer's Euros, a bidding war could ensue at the end of the current campaign.

With interested clubs needing to cough up at least £60m to lure him out of south London, as per Football Insider, a successful deal to sign the talented centre-back could see Chelsea repeat their Luiz masterclass.

How David Luiz compares to Marc Guehi

Although re-signing a player for £40m more than he was sold for doesn't make much business sense, Guehi's exceptional defensive talent proves he's more than worth his weight in gold.

The Englishman has racked up 96 appearances for Palace and has made huge strides in his development, striking up an excellent partnership alongside defensive brute, Joachim Andersen.

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If Guehi returns to his boyhood club, he can surpass the legacy that the Brazilian crafted at Stamford Bridge by showcasing his exceptional defensive awareness, ferocious tackling and ball-playing ability.

During the peak of his powers, Luiz was one of the most technically gifted defenders on the planet and such talent with the ball at his feet would often see him get deployed as a defensive midfielder at Chelsea.

A freak of nature in possession, the Brazilian was also put set-pieces due to his outrageous ball-striking ability with the defensive maverick seemingly perfecting the art of the knuckleball free kick.

Whilst Guehi is comfortable with the ball at his feet, Luiz was on another level, however, when comparing the statistics from his final campaign at Chelsea to the 23-year-old's current season at Palace, the metrics are much closer than you'd think.

Marc Guehi vs David Luiz Premier League statistics per 90

Statistics

Marc Guehi (2023/24)

David Luiz (2018/19)

Pass completion

89.2%

87.7%

Successful take-ons

0.42

0.28

Progressive passes

2.59

6.87

Shot creating actions

1.00

1.25

Passes into the final third

4.34

5.89

All stats via FBref

The fact that Guehi is able to beat Luiz for pass completion and successful take-ons, despite playing in a side that is less progressive than the one the Brazilian was in, suggests he possesses the potential to eclipse the former PSG star.

If Chelsea were to bring their academy graduate back to Stamford Bridge, the "absolute tank" - as lauded by former England under-21 teammate Josef Bursik - could fit into Pochettino's side like a glove and show that returning for a second bite of the cherry can sometimes turn out to be a masterstroke.

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