Scouting Report: Filipe Luis

The left-back made his debut for Chelsea in an uninspiring draw with Wolfsberger AC, but was solid against the Austrian side as he prepares for a battle for a first-team berth
By Alex Young & Stephen Darwin

After just a few days of training, Filipe Luis was given his first taste of match action in a Chelsea shirt as he made his debut in the Blues' pre-season friendly meeting with Wolfsberger AC in Austria.

But with Cesar Azpilicueta already established at left-back, prompting Ashley Cole to be deemed surplus to requirements in the process, what can the 28-year-old hope for during his first season in England?


It was a solid, if unspectacular, start to life under Jose Mourinho, with Filipe rarely tested by an average Wolfsberger attacking line. He always looked calm and composed when in possession of the ball - as he so often demonstrated in an Atletico Madrid shirt last season.

Lining up alongside John Terry to the right of him, Filipe was on hand to sweep round on the cover on the couple of occasions that Wolfsberger did manage to get in behind and swing a cross into the box.  

He was substituted after 59 minutes for Nathan Ake and Mourinho insisted post-match that the Brazilian's performance was affected by fatigue as he looks to get up to speed in the coming weeks in preparation for the 2014-15 Premier League campaign.

The Portuguese coach told Chelsea TV: "Filipe was really tired. He was training with Atletico [prior to signing for Chelsea on July 18]. That's why we played him.

"The training sessions are obviously different methodologies. Nobody trains the same. And he comes here and the intensity in the training sessions are much, much harder.

"He was tired but again it was good. He had John [Terry] on his side to support him and it was good."


The emergence of Azpilicueta as Mourinho's first-choice left-back at Stamford Bridge played a key role in Cole's departure on a free transfer to Roma earlier this month, so Filipe will know he has a fight on his hands to earn a regular starting berth.

Azpilicueta is naturally right-footed but Mourinho prefers the tough-tackling and aerial threat of Branislav Ivanovic on the opposite flank so the new No.5 will have to take his chances when they come.

Another possible rival is Ryan Bertrand, who has become a somewhat forgotten man after just one Premier League appearance last season before a loan spell at Aston Villa saw him impress.

The 24-year-old has insisted he will not settle for a place on the bench this season, but it remains to be seen whether he is another hurdle for Filipe to overcome or if the twice-capped England international will be moved on.

However, the 28-year-old brings a plethora of experience with him after winning four trophies in as many seasons at Atletico Madrid, most notably the Liga title in May as well as reaching the Champions League final a week later.

Filipe, of course, won the majority of his trophies at the Vicente Calderdon in front of Thibaut Courtois, who is expected to be Mourinho's first-choice goalkeeper after being recalled from a three-season loan at Atletico.

That understanding and familiarity with his goalkeeper will undoubtedly help Filipe, especially in the early days of his Chelsea career, as he aims to cement his place in Mourinho's starting XI.

A GOOD 2014-15 WOULD BE...

After a remarkable season with Atletico Filipe will be keen to make the left-back slot his own after arriving in England.

Mourinho has spent wisely so far this summer, with the defender and Diego Costa joining Cesc Fabregas at Stamford Bridge and a tilt at the title will be high on the club's agenda - plus an extended run in the Champions League.

Filipe has already proven he has the ability to come out on top in a tense title challenge - arguably the strongest outside England - and can complete against the best in the Champions League. Similar showings this year and he will endear himself to fans sooner rather than later.

The 28-year-old will undoubtedly have one eye on the international stage, too.

The former Atletico left-back was surprisingly left out of the Brazil squad for the World Cup but, after the nation's capitulation at the hands of Germany and Netherlands, the new Chelsea man will be hoping to force his way back in under new boss Dunga.