Pundit: What has changed about Chelsea star since world-record move

The Spurs legend praises David Luiz for embracing the art of defending since his return to Chelsea

Chelsea defender David Luiz Photo: David Luiz/Instagram

David Luiz has reverted to old-fashioned defending under Chelsea manager Antonio Conte, according to Garth Crooks.

The Brazil international sealed a return to the west London club in August 2016 less than two seasons after Luiz moved to Ligue 1 giants Paris Saint-Germain in a £50m deal.

Chelsea’s decision to re-sign Luiz attracted criticism from some ex-professionals given the centre-half’s erratic performances throughout his spell at the west London club.

However, the 30-year-old Champions League winner has forged an impressive partnership alongside Cesar Azpilicueta and Gary Cahill under the management of Conte.

Writing in his BBC Sport column about Luiz’s performances throughout the campaign in the Chelsea side, former Spurs forward Crooks said:

“This was the player who originally arrived at Stamford Bridge in a blaze of glory and left with his tail between his legs.

“I remember his first game against Fulham when he had a fantastic debut and scored the most impressive goal. However, Italian manager Carlo Ancelotti’s second season in charge didn’t turn out too well for Chelsea and David Luiz seemed to take the blame for the demise.

“A spell away from the Bridge taught him that when you are a top-class defender, you don’t have to do anything out of the ordinary to prove it – just defend.

“That is precisely what he did against a West Brom side desperate to rain on Chelsea’s parade and has been doing since his return. The Brazilian has been magnificent for the Blues this season.

“No lollipops, or rabonas, but he did everything in his power to protect his goalkeeper. Who would have thought that simple, good old-fashioned defending would win you titles in the modern era.”

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Luiz has scored one goal in 30 appearances in the Premier League this season following his return to the west London club.

The South American defender can still finish the season as a double winner ahead of Chelsea’s clash against Arsenal in the FA Cup final at Wembley.

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