David Luiz’s future at Chelsea looks increasingly uncertain after Antonio Conte dropped the Brazilian center back from the entire squad for Sunday’s victory against Manchester United.
Luiz sat in the stands behind the home dugout while Danish defender Andreas Christensen was promoted to the Chelsea back line against Jose Mourinho’s team.
Christensen provided a performance that justified Conte’s decision, with Alvaro Morata’s goal the only goal of the game. Speaking after the match, the Italian coach suggested Luiz will remain on the sidelines.
Here’s everything Conte had to say on the matter:
“Christensen is 22 years old, he showed great personality, for sure he is the present and the future for Chelsea, the same for [17-year-old Ethan] Ampadu,” Conte told Sky Sports.
“David Luiz has to work with the others if he deserves to play, otherwise he will stay on the bench or in the stands.”
In his post-match press conference, Conte was again asked about Luiz and to expand on his comments to the television cameras:
“I don’t know. He has to work really hard, otherwise they are on the bench or in the stand.” The Italian was subsequently asked to clarify those comments, and added: “It’s very simple, no? Very simple. The coach has to make the best decision for the team and tonight the best decision for the team was to play with Christensen and to have, on the bench, [Ethan] Ampadu. Another young player. A really good player for the present and the future.
“Maybe in the future I can decide a different way or continue in this way. That’s normal. I must take the best decision for the club, not for a single player. It’s only a tactical decision. It’s normal. This can happen to every one of my players, if I see they are not in good form. It’s normal. I repeat: I have to put my face to every situation and then sometimes to make important decisions. Today I did this and I think Christensen played a massive game. I was very happy for this.”
Victory saw Conte’s team go one point behind second-place Manchester United, but it also created an eight-point gap at the top of the Premier League table. Manchester City’s win against Arsenal earlier in the day means Pep Guardiola’s team has a hefty lead heading into the international break.
Source: Tom Roddy| Newsweek