Antonio Conte told to keep Chelsea star onside to win the title

The Chelsea manager needs to keep David Luiz on board if Blues are going to challenge for the title, Garth Crooks has claimed

Chelsea defender David Luiz Photo: David Luiz / Instagram

Antonio Conte needs to get David Luiz back onside if Chelsea want to win the Premier League title this season, Garth Crooks has warned.

The Brazil international was a surprise omission from the Chelsea team for the visit of their title rivals Manchester United at Old Trafford on Sunday evening.

Chelsea lost 3-0 to Serie A giants AS Roma in the Champions League in Rome last week as Luiz produced a disastrous defensive performance at Stadio Olimpico.

Conte opted to start Andreas Christensen ahead of Luiz and the tactical decision paid dividends as Chelsea managed to keep a clean sheet in a 1-0 victory over Manchester United.

Luiz has scored one goal in eight appearances in the Premier League this season but has endured a slow start to the campaign after being sent off in a goalless draw with Arsenal.

Former Spurs legend Crooks believes Conte must keep Luiz on board if Chelsea are going to push Manchester City in the title race.

“That said, Conte is no pushover and his response to leaving David Luiz, arguably his best player last season, out of the line-up against United, proves he is in no mood to take any nonsense from any of his players and expects complete and total commitment from everyone regardless of their perceived status,” Crooks told BBC Sport.

“I think Morata is a very different personality to Luiz, but if Conte wants to win the title that already appears to be slipping away, he has to manage all his players all the time regardless of their personality.”

Luiz won the Champions League and the Europa League during his first spell at Chelsea before he moved to Ligue 1 giants Paris Saint-Germain in a £52m deal in 2014.

Conte re-signed Luiz in a £32m deal in 2016 to improve their defensive options.

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