David Luiz has today completed a permanent transfer to Arsenal.
The Brazilian’s switch across London brings to an end a Chelsea career spanning seven seasons across two separate spells, a period in which he won six major honours.
David Luiz first became a Chelsea player in January 2011, joining from Benfica on transfer deadline day.
His Blues debut came as a late substitute at home to Liverpool, before his first start eight days later in a goalless draw at Fulham.
His first full campaign, the 2011/12 season, is one that will live long in the memory of all Chelsea supporters, and David Luiz more than played his part. Roberto Di Matteo was now at the helm and, in one of the Italian's first matches in charge, David Luiz was outstanding alongside John Terry as we overturned a 3-1 first-leg deficit against Napoli to progress to the Champions League quarter-finals.
Unfortunately, he picked up an injury in our 5-1 FA Cup semi-final win against Tottenham Hotspur which ruled him out of the domestic final against Liverpool, as well as both legs of our Champions League semi-final against Barcelona.
However, following an intense rehabilitation programme he was passed fit to play in the Champions League final against Bayern Munich and came through the entire 120 minutes, with the Blues under pressure for long spells. He went on to score in the penalty shoot-out as we lifted the trophy for the first time in our history.
David Luiz remained a regular in the side for 2012/13, scoring crucial goals in Europe to help us to the Europa League final and the Brazilian started in Amsterdam against Benfica as we tasted success on the European stage for the second consecutive season.
Under Jose Mourinho in 2013/14, David Luiz’s best displays came when he was used in midfield, as he was in wins against Liverpool, Manchester City and Arsenal. However, his campaign was disrupted by injury and he completed a transfer to Paris Saint-Germain shortly after the season had concluded.
After two years in the French capital, during which time he won five domestic honours, he returned to Stamford Bridge in another deadline-day move in August 2016. He resumed his Chelsea career against the same side as his original home debut – Liverpool – and quickly became a central figure in Antonio Conte’s 3-4-3 system.
Six league games passed without a goal conceded in October and November, with a club-record 13 straight league wins by the end of the year earning the defender plenty of praise. He played 33 of the 38 games as he won his first Premier League title and was named in the PFA Team of the Season.
There was more injury frustration in 2017/18 as a knee problem kept him sidelined for much of the season, but he returned to fitness ahead of last season, regularly partnering Antonio Rudiger at centre-back under Maurizio Sarri.
He had silverware in his hands again in May as we defeated Arsenal in the Europa League final in Baku, ending his time as a Chelsea player having made 248 appearances. He scored 18 goals during his Stamford Bridge career.
We thank David for his service and wish him well in his future career.