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David Luiz left puzzled at Chelsea under Antonio Conte, says Maurizio Sarri

David Luiz during the international friendly between Chelsea FC and Perth Glory at Optus Stadium on July 23, 2018 in Perth, Australia.
Image: David Luiz has featured in all seven Premier League games since Maurizio Sarri took charge at Chelsea

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.

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Highlights from Chelsea's 1-1 draw with Liverpool in the Premier League

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.

David Luiz was a surprise omission from Chelsea's matchday squad against Manchester United
Image: Luiz reportedly fell out with former Chelsea boss Antonio Conte

"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.

Maurizio Sarri gestures during the Community Shield
Image: Chelsea remain unbeaten in the Premier League under Sarri

"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.

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"Then I appreciate his qualities as a man. He's really better than I thought before."

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