14 Sept 2016

I Like Him: Klopp rejects criticism of 'poor' £34m star; insists he's 'strong' and 'experienced'

Chelsea defender David Luiz is regularly maligned by Liverpool fans and ex-Reds, but according to LFC boss Jurgen Klopp, the ex-PSG star is a top player, and will be an asset for Chelsea this season.

In a recent column for The Mirror, Stan Collymore claimed that 'poor' Luiz is 'one of the worst central defenders in Premier League history', but when asked today about Luiz, Klopp refuted criticism of the Brazilian's defensive ability:

"David Luiz is a very experienced player, and he’s strong in all parts of the game, unfortunately".

The CIES Football Observatory recently named Luiz as one of Europe's top ten defenders, and offered the following reasoning for the its selections:

"The analysis is based on statistics in 3 key areas [Rigour, recovery, distribution]. Two key performances indicators are crucial: rigor and recover. The former defines ability to minimize chances through robust dueling. The latter highlights proficient interception work".

Clearly, Luiz is not as bad as many of his detractors claim. Unfortunately, Brazil's 7-1 drubbing by Germany is a dark shadow over his career, and he will forever be associated with that defensive debacle.

At club level, though, Luiz can be a highly effective part of the defensive unit. Last season, for example, PSG - with Luiz at the heart of defence - conceded just 19 goals in 38 league matches.

As a comparison, Liverpool conceded 50 goals in the same number of games.

* Described as a 'warrior' by Thiago Silva. Cost Chelsea £34m


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