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Chelsea centre back spot | Alex or Luiz?

David Luiz joined Chelsea last January in a spending spree which also included the signing of Fernando Torres. Luiz was brought in from Benfica for about 20 million pounds.

Alex was bought in 2004/2005 but had to be loaned to PSV Eindhoven so that Chelsea could get him a work permit. After three years on loan Alex finally returned to his parent club after making a name for himself and earning the nickname “the tank”.

With John Terry as one half of the centre defence though, both of these Brazilian internationals will be fighting for one spot.

Alex’s defensive record is fairly good and his ability to keep posession and not make mistakes highlights that he is a trustworthy member of the Chelsea defence.

Total Ground 50-50’s 115
Ground 50-50’s Win % 68%
Mins per Ground 50-50’s 9.64
Total Aerial 50-50’s 54
Aerial 50-50’s Win % 59%
Mins per Aerial 50-50’s 20.54
Total Tackles 40
Tackle Success % 60%
Mins per Tackle 28
Successful Last Man Tackle 5
Interceptions 31
Interceptions per game 2.52
Dribbled Past 4
Defensive Errors 1
Mins per Defensive Error 1,109
Loss of Possession 6
Mins per Loss of Possession 185

David Luiz is a bit better in the air than Alex. He also is better at interceptions, this could be used as a reason to play him in front of the defence as a holding midfielder rather than a defender. However, his distribution is much worse than Alex’s, losing the ball every 45 minutes. This is also shown by their pass completion rates which show Alex’s at 90% whereas Luiz’s is 84%.

Total Ground 50-50’s 99
Ground 50-50’s Win % 51%
Mins per Ground 50-50’s 9.63
Total Aerial 50-50’s 22
Aerial 50-50’s Win % 64%
Mins per Aerial 50-50’s 43.32
Total Tackles 17
Tackle Success % 82.35%
Mins per Tackle 56
Successful Last Man Tackle 1
Interceptions 43
Interceptions per game 4.06
Dribbled Past 10
Defensive Errors 1
Mins per Defensive Error 953
Loss of Possession 21
Mins per Loss of Possession 45

David Luiz has slightly better attacking statistics than Alex but not by much. Luiz scores every 477 minutes, whilst Alex scores every 555 minutes. There is not much difference their, Alex even has a higher conversion rate of chances, 22% compared to 20%.

All in all, I think the Tank is a better central defender at the moment but David Luiz is still a young player and will develop to be just as good if not better than Alex.

I write a blog about all things football http://itsaballnotabomb.wordpress.com/ follow me on twitter @ballnotbomb
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