Maurizio Sarri admits he has been pleasantly surprised by the ability of David Luiz and says the defender was left "confused" by his lack of game time under former Chelsea head coach Antonio Conte.
Luiz had been an integral figure in Chelsea's title-winning season in Conte's first year as boss, but made just four appearances in the first half of 2018 as a result of injury and a rumoured falling-out with the Italian.
However, the Brazil defender has featured in all seven Premier League games in this campaign for Chelsea, who remain unbeaten and third in the table.
"Two seasons ago, he was a protagonist," said Sarri. "Then six months ago, he was not playing, so he was a little confused.
"He's direct. If he has to say something to the manager, he has to talk to me. I like very much direct people.
"When I arrived here, immediately I had the feeling he's a very good player for my way of football because he's a centre-back who is very technical.
"Then I appreciate his qualities as a man. He's really better than I thought before."