Pundit: Chelsea need to keep defender to challenge in Champions League

Garth Crooks says David Luiz will be a key player for Chelsea in the Champions League next season

Chelsea defender David Luiz Photo: David Luiz/Instagram

Chelsea must keep David Luiz in the summer if Antonio Conte wants to win the Champions League next season, according to Garth Crooks.

The Blues restored their seven-point lead at the top of the Premier League table thanks to a 3-1 win against Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium on Saturday evening.

Luiz played his part in Chelsea’s victory on the south coast as the Brazil international closes in on a first Premier League title after failing to secure the top-flight crown during his first spell in English football.

The Brazilian centre-half returned to Stamford Bridge in a 32m deal from Ligue 1 giants Paris Saint-Germain last summer following Antonio Conte’s appointment as manager.

Luiz has established himself as a key cog in the Chelsea manager’s side alongside his fellow centre-halves Cesar Azpilicueta and Gary Cahill.

Speaking to BBC Sport about the Brazilian defender, Crooks urged Chelsea to secure the versatile defender’s future ahead of their return to the Champions League next season.

“If Chelsea are serious about winning the Champions League next season they must do whatever it takes to keep Luiz,” Crooks said.

“There aren’t many great centre-backs out there, and those who do exist are with the biggest clubs in Europe. With a couple of strong additions to their squad, Chelsea could be serious Champions League candidates.”

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