During the course of last season, Filipe Luis was simply in the form of his life for Diego Simeone’s plucky Atletico side, as they sought to topple both Real Madrid and Barcelona from their lofty perches in La Liga. The 29-year-old had made a solid name for himself as a flying full back who loves a good go at the attacking side of the game, whilst also providing his team with organisation and solidarity at the back.
The Brazilian’s subsequent move to Chelsea, which was meant to be an illustrious step-up from triumphantly winning the La Liga title with Atletico Madrid, has so far failed to work out for the club, and more importantly, for the player himself.
Whilst Filipe Luis may have seen his game time with the Blues slightly improve over the last few weeks, we get the feeling that the quick Brazilian just isn’t fancied by Jose Mourinho to make it in the Premier League. Substitute appearances and the odd League Cup start aren’t what Luis had in mind when he first made the switch to West London, so in the wake of the much publicised January transfer window, does the former Atletico star have any meaningful future at Stamford Bridge?
Yes – all of this talk does seem a little premature in the cold light of day. It must be remembered that this is Filipe Luis’ first year in English football, and with the Premier League proving a tough nut to crack for even the very best players Europe has to offer, the Brazilian deserves time to fully settle in to his new surroundings.
Regardless of the context of his situation however, only ten Premier League appearances in 2014/15 has been a disappointing showing all round for Chelsea’s new no. 3. The La Liga star made his way to Stamford Bridge after not being selected to represent his country at the World Cup finals this summer. Brazil, who could have certainly done with a stronger looking back-four, unceremoniously left Filipe Luis out of the tournament, alongside his former Atletico teammate, Miranda.
Since resting up over the summer, the exciting full-back was expected to slot straight into Mourinho’s team as Chelsea looked to begin their new campaign. Diego Costa and Thibaut Courtois, Atletico’s other West London switchers, had been given first team places, so it seemed only natural to expect Filipe Luis to be joining them on the squad sheet. As this is a side looking to do everything they can to win the Premier League however, things were never going to be that cut and dry for their new signing.
The impressive form of both Branislav Ivanovic, who was initially expected to make way for new faces this season, and Cesar Azpilicueta, who is rapidly becoming one of the best full-backs in England, have simply seen Filipe Luis casted aside at Stamford Bridge. He seems to not fit into Jose Mourinho’s structured set-up as well as Ivanovic or Azpilicueta, and for that reason alone, a place on the subs bench is the best option available to Luis right now.
Such wasted talent therefore comes as a disappointment for fans of the Premier League and football in general. It seems wrong that a player so valuable to Atletico last season, is now considered a mere squad player at Chelsea. Having someone like Filipe Luis on the bench will surely do wonders for the Blues should any testing injuries crop-up, but ultimately the football world would be better off without deals such as this one.
Although Filipe Luis is far from being moved on by Chelsea, with little to no stories linking the Brazilian with a move away from West London, he is better than his place on the bench represents.
Yes – everything could change in the second half of the season, and the inventive defender could all of a sudden become a vitally needed asset for the Blues, but when all things are considered right now, this move was simply a waste of time for Filipe Luis and has halted his progress in European football.