- Chelsea defender David Luiz tipped for January exit by Paul Merson
- Brazilian has not featured in recent weeks due to reported injury
- Claims also that he had a falling out with Conte last month
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Sky Sports pundit Paul Merson has insisted that he believes Chelsea defender David Luiz is on his way out of Stamford Bridge in the New Year.
The 30-year-old has not featured in the last six Premier League games with a knee injury keeping him sidelined, although as noted by Sky Sports, there was a reported fall-out with Antonio Conte last month too.
In turn, it has raised question marks over his future, with Andreas Christensen emerging as a capable replacement in his position in his absence, while the Dane naturally offers a long-term option given he’s still only 21.
With Chelsea challenging on multiple fronts this season though, it could be argued that Conte could do with the strength in depth, and especially with the experience and quality that Luiz offers if that suggested row can be put in the past.
However, Merson is convinced that the Brazilian international will leave in the January transfer window as for him, it appears as though the damage has already been done.
“All day long. He doesn’t even get changed now does he,” Merson is quoted as saying by The Express in response to a question on a January departure. “I think that ship’s long sailed.”
It remains to be seen whether or not his prediction comes true, but fears are valid for Luiz given his current situation at the club, with that reported fall-out in mind.
After winning the Europa League and Champions League in his previous stint with Chelsea, the charismatic Brazilian added a Premier League title to his collection last season after returning from Paris Saint-Germain.
He seemed to be a great fit as he settled into the heart of a three-man defence under Conte, but time will tell if he can turn things around, get back into the team and prove Merson’s claim wrong.