The Blues manager thinks that his defender’s risky comeback has paid off after a season as one of England’s best centre backs
Antonio Conte says that Chelsea’s decision to re-sign David Luiz has been vindicated as he reflects on the initial criticism the club received for the move.
Luiz returned to the Blues in a £32 million deal from Paris Saint-Germain in the summer and the Brazil international recently revealed that he regarded the move as a risk, as he took a pay-cut to return.
Chelsea were criticised for making a ‘panic buy’ as they signed Luiz in the final hours of the summer transfer window, while the 30-year-old was doubted over his playing style. Conte thinks that his critics have gone quiet and that Luiz has been important to his side’s success.
“I think David arrived here in Chelsea with a lot of criticism,” Conte said at a news briefing at Cobham Training Ground.
“Not only for him, but also for me and the club. But I think David showed himself to be a great player.
“I think he’s one of many players who has been a key player for us. When we changed and started to play with him in the middle of the three centre-backs, this choice was very good. I think this suited him perfectly.
“He had a great season. Now, I hope [for more], we have another game to go. I spoke with him and we have to finish this great season and make it a fantastic season.”