Pundit credits Antonio Conte with transforming this Chelsea player
Phil Thompson hails the Chelsea manager for getting the best out of David Luiz this season
Antonio Conte deserves credit for getting the best out of Chelsea defender David Luiz, according to Phil Thomspon.
Luiz sealed a surprise return to Chelsea in a £32m deal from Ligue 1 giants Paris Saint-Germain in the 2016 summer transfer window.
Conte brought the Brazil international back to west London less than two seasons after Luiz moved to PSG in a world-record fee for a defender.
The 29-year-old has been one of Chelsea’s most-consistent players in the 2016-17 season despite his reputation for erratic performances at the back.
Luiz has thrived alongside his fellow centre-halves Cesar Azpilcueta and Gary Cahill in the heart of the Chelsea defence.
The west London side are sitting four points clear of second-placed Tottenham Hotspur at the top of the table with four games to play.
Speaking to Sky Sports about Luiz’s performances throughout the 2016-17 seasons, Liverpool legend Thompson was quick to credit Conte.
“A player always has to take a pat on the back for doing the job but the manager has to take a lot of credit because he’s taught him,” Le Tissier said.
“When he first came to Chelsea, I don’t know how many times he did what you shouldn’t be doing. Trying to read it early, trying to get around attackers, trying to pinch the ball. In this league, good attackers roll you left or right and he made it so easy for attackers. He was thinking it was easier than it was.
“He’s played this role now which is absolutely perfect for him. He’s tailed off a little bit in the last couple of weeks but my goodness I have been speaking so highly of this guy, he’s been absolutely terrific this time.”
Chelsea can move seven points clear of Tottenham with victory over Middlesbrough on Monday night.