David Luiz - His role is a crucial role for us, and I think he has performed very well

Sold by Jose Mourinho at Chelsea, Antonio Conte has heaped praise on David Luiz for his performances since he returned to Stamford Bridg...

Sold by Jose Mourinho at Chelsea, Antonio Conte has heaped praise on David Luiz for his performances since he returned to Stamford Bridge and believes he is one of the best defenders in Europe.

It was a move that raised eyebrows in England with Chelsea having sold Luiz to PSG for £50m two seasons ago. Many saw the move as a mistake with plenty of criticism being thrown about of a player that many believed could not defend with his best position being in midfield.

We had heard in his first spell in the Premier League plenty of pundit opinion that was negative stating famously that he plays "as if he is being controlled by a kid on Playstation" and that he was Chelsea's weak link despite playing an instrumental role in our Champions League win in Munich.

So to his return to Chelsea and his performances this season and you can see how much of an effect Antonio Conte has had on him as a defender. Once Conte made his tactical switch to 3-4-3 with Luiz playing in the middle of our back three he has really impressed.

Antonio Conte spoken highly of Luiz's performances this season and of the past and said:

“David arrived in England and I heard a lot of bad things about him when he arrived, and why was he coming back in Chelsea because, in the past, he had performed bad and he was 'not a defender’.

This was a great challenge for him, but also for me. Because I think when you have great ability for your players, and you can work to try and improve some situations, it's great. You can see that David, for sure, is a really strong defender.

I like, always, to repeat to him that it's very important to have the right concentration. His role is a crucial role for us, and I think he has performed very well. But I want him to perform very well for the rest of the season.

I think this position is perfect for David to play as a central player in three defenders. This is the best position for him because he has good technique, he's strong, he can start our possession and the personality to do this. And he also has two really good defenders at his side, in Gary [Cahill] and Azpi [Cesar Azpilicueta] or [Kurt] Zouma or [Nathan] Ake or John [Terry]. This position is fantastic for him. He's performing very well. But I repeat: I like always to push him because the season hasn't finished yet. For us, it's very important for us to keep the right concentration until the end.

I read in the newspapers, a lot of bad considerations, saying we had spent a lot of money on him and, in the past, he hadn't been very good as a defender. For this reason, he had played as a midfielder. I heard a lot of these things. But when we decided to buy him, to take him back, we were sure. We were sure we were taking a really good player and put him again as one of the best defenders in Europe and, I hope, in the world." - Source: The Independent.

David Luiz has been a revelation in my view and it's such a notable difference in his game this year. He has added a real discipline to his performances and maintains his position without going roaming around the back four, or pushing forward to either close down defenders or to carry the ball into midfield.

OK the fact that he had N'Golo Kante playing in front of him helps, I do understand that and the role the hard working Frenchman plays, however think of how well Luiz reads the game from that central position and how many times he had blocked crosses into the box having found himself in the perfect position to defend.

Luiz needs another big, big performance this afternoon up against his old team mate in Zlatan Ibrahimovic if we are to beat Manchester United and take three massive points.

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