Chelsea news: Maurizio Sarri names surprise ‘very important’ player | Football | Sport

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Chelsea news: Maurizio Sarri names surprise 'very important' player | Football | Sport


That’s despite the Brazilian spending last year in exile under Antonio Conte.

Luiz has had an up-and-down second spell at Stamford Bridge since returning for £34million from Paris Saint-Germain in August 2016.

He was a crucial part of the title-winning team in Conte’s first year but made just 10 Premier League appearances last term and only two after October.

That was in part due to injuries but also because of apparent off-the-pitch issues, the 31-year-old having reportedly questioned Conte’s tactics after a heavy Champions League loss to Roma as the two had an apparent fall-out.

After that, the now-departed Chelsea manager declared that Luiz would have to work “really hard” or else find himself consigned to the stands or the bench on a consistent basis.

It appeared likely that the former Benfica centre-back would be moved on this summer with just a year left on his contract but he declared earlier this week his desire to stay with the London club.

And Sarri, who replaced compatriot Conte last month, says Luiz will be handed the opportunity to regain a regular place in the side.

“I am very happy with David for his attitude, very happy,” Sarri said ahead of Chelsea’s Community Shield clash with Manchester City at Wembley on Sunday. 

“I think David will be very important for the team and also for me.”

That came after comments earlier this week in which Luiz, who missed out on the World Cup after his forgettable 2017-18 campaign, hailed how much he is enjoying working under Sarri.

“I love Sarri’s philosophy,” Luiz told reporters. “We play high, with a lot of possession in a technical way. He’s trying to help us every single day to learn quickly his philosophy.

“A new philosophy always takes time. But it also depends on us. If we’re dedicated every day and doing things every single day in training, we’re trying to learn quickly.”

The new manager had been linked with moves for Juventus centre-back duo Daniele Rugani and Mattia Caldara but the Italian champions want to keep the former while the latter joined AC Milan this week.

That could offer Luiz the opportunity to regain a spot in the first-team squad, despite having fallen behind the likes of Andreas Christensen, Gary Cahill, Antonio Rudiger and Cesar Azpilicueta under Conte.

With just two players signed so far in Jorginho and back-up goalkeeper Rob Green, Sarri has suggested he wants to get one more transfer done before next Thursday’s deadline.

But he was coy when discussing exactly where Chelsea’s impending activity would see them strengthen.

He said: “I think we need something. But only maybe one player.

“I spoke with the club about the market but only one time, no more. 

“I spoke about positions but no specifics – no names – so I don’t know.”



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