Antonio Conte has hinted that the system may be used
Much like his Simpsons' look-a-like Sideshow Bob walking on a path strewn with rakes, David Luiz's defending can be clumsy and counter-productive.
For all his talents on the ball or from set-pieces, his performance for Brazil in the 2014 World Cup semi-final against Germany was an example of how erratic he can be at the back. So much so that many were bemused when Paris Saint-Germain spent upwards of £50 million to take him from Chelsea that summer.
That's not to say that he can't manage a steadfast rearguard action from time to time. Indeed, he was right there at the heart of the defence alongside Gary Cahill when Chelsea sucker-punched Bayern Munich in the 2012 Champions League final.
But it still comes as a shock to see him back at Chelsea for the not so insignificant sum of £38 million and he is line to feature against Liverpool on Friday night's Premier League clash at Stamford Bridge.
His reputation precedes him of course. As John Giles reminded us on Newstalk, Luiz is a "terrible defender".
He also wondered whether the Brazilian was Chelsea manager Antonio Conte's first choice.
But if speculation is correct, Luiz may be viewed as the player that can adapt to a back-three system. It's a system that Conte has often utilised in his managerial career, first doing so at Juventus at times but also finding relative success with it as a defensive tactic during Euro 2016.
But the difference when it came to Juve and Italy was that he had a trio of elite players in the shape of Leonardo Bonucci, Andrea Barzagli and Giorgio Chiellini who were often impenetrable.
But Conte does make one distinction while openly admitting that a back-three is an option he may well use.
"I think this squad can play 3-4-3, not 3-5-2 like the national team in Italy and Juventus," he says.
Chelsea manager Antonio Conte during the Premier League match at the Liberty Stadium, Swansea. Picture by: Mike Egerton / PA Wire/Press Association Images
In the 3-5-2 used by Juve at their peak under Conte, a trio of central midfielders was used with the dynamic Paul Pogba and Arturo Vidal around deep-lying playmaker Andrea Pirlo.
The widest players in the five-man midfield were wing-backs like Stephen Lichstenier and Kwadwo Asamoah. The Italy national team version was more defensive by necessity especially when Claudio Marchisio and Marco Verratti were struck down by injuries.
If it's a four rather than a five in midfield, that allows Eden Hazard for example to remain stationed in his primary role of left-inside-forward, and presumably frees up an extra defensive player to provide extra protection to the back-three as the left-wing-back for example would not need to be particularly attacking due to Hazard's presence.
Given that Luiz would be at the heart of the defence that would make extra sense and the fact that he would be in a trio rather than a duo means an extra player back in case of a defensive error.
Especially with John Terry injured for the Liverpool game, the back-three with Luiz alongside Gary Cahill and one other (perhaps Branislav Ivanovic) could be an option that could see the light of day.