Tottenham legend: I owe Antonio Conte apology over Chelsea signing

The Tottenham legend admits he was wrong about Chelsea signing David Luiz

Garth Crooks has admitted that he owes Antonio Conte an apology over Chelsea signing David Luiz.

The Brazil international returned to Stamford Bridge in a £32m deal from Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain on the final day of the summer transfer window.

Luiz was initially branded as a panic buy after the Brazilian had been sold to PSG in a world-record £50m fee for a defender in 2014.

Chelsea lost to title rivals Arsenal and Liverpool in Luiz’s first two Premier League games back at the west London club.

The Blues have bounced back since a 3-0 loss at The Emirates and Luiz has helped Chelsea keep five successive clean sheets without captain John Terry.

Conte’s side have scored 16 goals in Premier League victories over Hull City, Leicester City, Manchester United, Southampton and Everton.

Former Tottenham forward Crooks has expressed his surprise at Luiz’s impressive defending following the South American’s second Chelsea debut in September 2016.

“I think I owe Chelsea boss Antonio Conte an apology. I was one of those pundits who gasped and then sneered at his decision to bring Luiz back to Stamford Bridge,” Crooks wrote in his BBC Sport column.

“Yet what I have witnessed since the Brazil defender’s return is a player utterly focused on defending and taking pride in keeping clean sheets.

“Against Everton, he stuffed Romelu Lukaku in his right pocket and Yannick Bolasie in his left. I cannot remember a single chance Everton had throughout the 90 minutes in one of the best defensive displays I have seen by a Chelsea team in years. And it was led and directed by Luiz. Magnificent.”

Chelsea are in second place in the Premier League table.

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