Sarri: Direct Luiz ‘confused’ under Conte

Chelsea head coach Maurizio Sarri has said he has been surprised by the ability of David Luiz and that the Brazilian was confused over his lack of playing time under former coach Antonio Conte.

The Blues defender was ready to leave Stamford Bridge in the summer, but now he is back in the team and playing well under the new coach.

The Italian said that he admires Luiz’s direct style and that the 31-year old has adapted to the playing style he has been trying to implement quicker than his team-mates.

Luiz made just 17 appearances under Conte last season after a fall out with the former boss, and did not play at all after February.

He had several offers during the summer and has said that he would have left Chelsea had Conte remained manager.

But he has come in from the cold under Sarri and started every Premier League game so far under the 59-year old.

“I have to say he is a lot better than a thought,” Sarri said after Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Liverpool. “A lot better, both as a player and as a man.”

“I don’t know what happened before I arrived, but when I arrived here, immediately I had the feeling that he is a very good player for my way of football because he is a very technical centre back.

“Then I appreciated his qualities as a man. He is direct, if he has to say something to the manager, to talk to me. Then he goes directly to me. I don’t know [if Conte didn’t like it] but I like very much the direct people. I like this [communication] very much.

“He was a little confused because two seasons ago he was a protagonist then he had six months without playing, he was a little confused. I think he is very able to play my football with his characteristics. He is very able to start the actions from the defensive line. So I think he is very suitable for me.”