David Luiz will play a key role for Chelsea this season, according to the club’s new manager Maurizio Sarri.
Luiz, the Brazil defender, reportedly fell out with Antonio Conte last season, and that, combined with a persistent knee injury, limited his game time last term.
This came on the back of being one of Conte’s most important players the previous campaign, when Chelsea romped to the title with Luiz at the centre of their famous three-man defence.
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However, central defender Luiz has been back in action during pre-season, and Sarri expects the 31-year-old to once again become a vital part of Chelsea’s first-team.
“I’m very happy with David, for his attitude. I’m very happy,” the Italian said.
“I think David will be very important for the team, to support me.”
Ruben Loftus-Cheek is also looking for a fresh start at Chelsea.
His form on loan at Crystal Palace last season was enough to earn a place in England’s World Cup squad.
But the 22-year-old’s immediate future depends on whether he can impress Sarri in the coming days.
Sarri said: “Loftus-Cheek I have seen him just for three, four trainings. I want to wait to adjudicate.”
Cesc Fabregas is a doubt for Sunday’s Community Shield with Manchester City with a minor knee injury.
FA Cup winners Chelsea finished fifth, 30 points behind champions City, in the Premier League last season.
And Sarri knows there is plenty of work to do.
He said: “We are not at the top level now. But we have to try to have a good performance. We have to try to have a