Chelsea’s purge of Atletico Madrid has continued today with another much rumored transfer, as the Blues have agreed to pay £20 million for left back Filipe Luis. Chelsea needed a long term option at the position following the expiration of Ashley Cole’s contract, and Luis is coming off an excellent season with the La Liga champions.
Luis was part of an Atletico defense that conceded the fewest goals in La Liga last season, and he joins a Chelsea defense that accomplished the same feat in the Premier League. Luis gives Chelsea a natural left back who will provide the type of hard working, reliable defending that Jose Mourinho requires.
What remains to be seen is what exactly Luis’ role will be, as Cesar Azpilicueta closed the season at left back and performed very well. However, Azpilicueta is a right back by trade, though Chelsea obviously have no complaints about the performance of Branislav Ivanovic at that position. Given that Ivanovic can also spell John Terry and Gary Cahill at center back, it seems likely that there will be a fair amount of rotation among the defense. That being said, you don’t spend 20 million pounds on a player unless you plan on using him frequently, so expect Luis to get the majority of the starts at left back, at least early on.
No matter how the playing time shakes out, Chelsea appear to be primed to have the talent to repeat their brilliant defensive performance of a year ago. Combine that with the recent additions of Cesc Fabregas and Diego Costa to boost the attack, Chelsea look to be in great shape to contend for the Premier League title this season. Luis fills their last remaining significant need, and Chelsea will hope that they have made the right moves to bolster their squad and compete for a championship.