Pundit: Antonio Conte deserves credit for courage to make this Chelsea signing

Garth Crooks praises Antonio Conte's decision to bring David Luiz back to Chelsea in the summer transfer window

Chelsea defender David Luiz Photo: David Luiz/Instagram

Garth Crooks has heaped praise on Chelsea manager Antonio Conte for having the foresight to bring David Luiz back to Stamford Bridge last summer.

The Brazilian defender completed a £32m transfer to Chelsea from Ligue 1 side Paris Saint-Germain in the summer transfer window despite the Blues selling the versatile defender to the French club in 2014.

Luiz slotted into the Chelsea defence alongside Cesar Azpilicueta and Gary Cahill in Conte’s revolutionary 3-4-3 formation in the Premier League this term.

The Blues defence has the best defensive record in the Premier League this season, helped in part by Luiz’s contribution to Conte’s side.

The 30-year-old defender has attracted criticism for his erratic performances throughout his club career, while Luiz was part of the Brazil side that lost 7-1 to Germany in the World Cup semi-final in 2014.

However, former Spurs legend Crooks believes Conte and his Chelsea staff deserve credit for having the courage and faith to sign Luiz last summer.

“As the season draws to a close and Chelsea put a date in the diary for a trip to the Premier League engravers, I would like to commend manager Antonio Conte and technical director Michael Emenalo for having the foresight and courage to bring Luiz back to Stamford Bridge,” Crooks told BBC Sport.

“The Brazil international is unrecognisable from the irrational player we saw during his first period at the club. Since his return, he has played some glorious football and been a unifying figure in a new era at the Bridge.”

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