Filipe Luis joins Chelsea: Who is Blues' new £20m left-back?

The Brazilian has agreed personal terms with the west Londoners

Chelsea’s latest recruit will fill a troublesome hole at left-back - but who is the player behind the £20 million fee?

Luis has travelled a far from straightforward path to south west London. His career began in 2003 at the small Brazilian club Figueirense, where he spent just a year before moving to Ajax on loan.

His time with the Dutch giants must have attracted desirous glances- because in August 2005 Real Madrid came calling.

Read more: Luis to join Chelsea

Luis’ spell there was not a happy one- he spent most of his one season at the club with its ‘B’ outfit before moving to Deportivo La Coruna, in what became a permanent deal.

It was with Atletico however that the indefatigable defender really made his name. He signed in July 2010 for a reported €12 million, a year before Diego Simeone arrived at the club.

The bullish Simeone’s tigerlike pressing system turned Luis into a quiet star. He played a crucial part in each of the 2012/13 and 2013/14 seasons, during which Atletico collected the UEFA Super Cup, the Europa League and, most memorably, the La Liga title.

But as is so often the case, a love affair ended in ignominy when Luis declared his intention to join Chelsea. He was banished to train with the Atletico reserves- a further embarrassment following his perhaps unfair omission from Brazil’s World Cup squad.

Atletico’s anger at Luis’ request for a move is a reflection of how highly they value a player who is never flash but equally never less than consistently solid, in the manner of a well-constructed brick wall.

 

Luis is a fine tackler possessed of apparently limitless endurance- a necessary quality given the physical demands Simeone’s system put on the Atletico players. Despite his pre-season in the reserves, José Mourinho is buying a player in tip-top shape.

Scolari preferred the flashier but defensively brittle Marcelo and the unremarkable Maxwell at the World Cup - and came to regret his decision as both proved fallible and underwhelming.

Mourinho knows a good left-back- and he knows too that the most important quality in the position is the ability to defend. In the hit-and-miss world of big-money transfers, Filipe Luis is as close to guaranteed value for money as a club is likely to find.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering