Graeme Souness warns Antonio Conte about falling out with Chelsea star
The Liverpool legend warns Antonio Conte about falling out with Chelsea defender David Luiz
Graeme Souness has warned Antonio Conte that falling out with David Luiz could cause a split in the Chelsea squad.
The Brazil international was a surprise omission from Conte’s starting line-up for the visit of Manchester United at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea had conceded 13 times in six games in all competitions ahead of their top of the table clash against the Red Devils.
Conte opted to go with promising Denmark international ahead of Luiz on Sunday evening and the decision paid dividends.
The 21-year-old centre-half helped to marshal former Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku as the defending champions were 1-0 winners against Manchester United at Stamford Bridge.
Luiz returned to Chelsea in a £32m deal from Paris Saint-Germain in the 2016 summer transfer window following Conte’s appointment as manager.
The 31-year-old was a key part of Chelsea’s title success despite the suggestion Luiz wasn’t a Conte signing.
Former Liverpool captain Souness warned the Chelsea boss that ostracising Luiz could be a dangerous game.
“How many allies does David Luiz have in that dressing room?” Souness told Sky Sports.
“He’ll have two or three that will side with him when push comes to shove and that is what makes a manager’s position vulnerable.
“You’re not falling out with one player, you’re falling out with four, five, six and they could be worth £200m in the transfer market.”
Chelsea won the Champions League and the Europa League with Luiz before the Brazilian defender moved to PSG in a £50m deal.
The South American won his first Premier League title under Conte last term after finishing seven points clear of Tottenham Hotspur.