• Premier League

Midfield role suits Luiz, says Benitez

ESPN staff
December 22, 2012
Rafael Benitez does not want to stifle the attacking instincts of David Luiz © PA Photos

Chelsea boss Rafael Benitez has surprisingly stated that David Luiz may be more suited to midfield for the time being, indicating that it could help the player mature and make less mistakes at the back.

Because of the amount of injuries and suspensions Chelsea have suffered in the centre of the pitch of late, the Brazilian has had to fill in - and he has done it to positive effect. And, while Luiz did not play in midfield in the midweek League Cup game against Leeds United, the match did effectively sum up the issue. Although he made what has become a characteristic error for Luciano Becchio's goal, he later supplied a superb through ball for Eden Hazard to score.

Indeed, the errors have become the only blemishes in performances that are, on the whole, much more assured, influential and increasingly important to Chelsea's creativity. Benitez also stated that he did not want to take away the adventurous side of Luiz's game.

"I encourage him to try things. I would be really worried if a player is not trying things in the final third. He's a player who likes to play and wants to help and win. He likes to be seen, to take a risk where it's necessary."

When asked whether it is "safer" for Luiz to play in midfield, Benitez surprisingly said: "it's easier for him.

"At centre-back, you make one mistake and everyone sees. In midfield, it's easier. He likes to play and enjoys keeping the ball, passing the ball and going forward. It's easier for him than centre-back. If he adjusts those things at centre-back, he will be even better."

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