‘Sarri said he didn’t want me to stay’ – David Luiz reveals how he turned Chelsea career around

The Brazilian defender has committed to a new contract at Stamford Bridge after proving his worth to a coach who originally questioned his value

David Luiz has penned a new contract to commit his immediate future to Chelsea, but the Brazilian has revealed that Maurizio Sarri told him he was free to leave in his first week as Blues boss.

An Italian coach arrived at Stamford Bridge in the summer of 2018.

He inherited a squad from countryman Antonio Conte and was eager to put his own stamp on things.

That included telling an experienced defender that he did not form part of his plans after an injury-hit 2017-18 campaign.

Luiz told the Daily Mail of his early experiences under a new manager: “We had a conversation in the first week he arrived. He didn’t want me to stay and that was normal.

“I’d been injured for a long period. I was in the last year of my contract. I was 31 years old and everyone was saying, ‘No, not David’. Then, after three days he saw me training and said, ‘No, you are going to stay’.”

After proving his worth to Sarri, Luiz has gone to make 49 appearances this season and earn a new two-year deal.

“I want to play at a high level,” he added on his future ambition.

“I can say I want to play football until I’m 100, but I want to continue at a high level, so I have to look after myself, have discipline and work every single day.

“I want to play for Chelsea and try to win big titles. I have two more years on my contract, but maybe I can stay for five more. We don’t know.”

Luiz has already won the Premier League, FA Cup, Champions League and Europa League across two spells with Chelsea and is now chasing down another continental crown.

His success to date has been enjoyed during a period of much change in west London, with Sarri the latest in a long line of coaches to have been charged with the task of delivering major silverware.

“Seven? Did I miss one?” Luiz said of the managers he was worked under with the Blues.

“Carlo Ancelotti brought me here. Under Andre Villas-Boas I was playing every game. Under Roberto Di Matteo we won the Champions League and the FA Cup. With Rafa Benitez, we won the Europa League. With Jose Mourinho, we were in the semi-finals of the Champions League. With Antonio Conte, we won the Premier League. With Maurizio Sarri we have the possibility to win the Europa League.

“With all seven I played. So that means I understood something and was trying my best. And we need to be respectful and understand the history of every single one.

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“To be the manager of Chelsea means they did something great. Every one of them had their style and way of football; their way to think football, to teach football. I tried to learn something from every single one.”

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