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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 22 August 2018

David Luiz at Chelsea 'to stay' and loving start to life under Maurizio Sarri

Brazilian defender was key in the title-winning season but was restricted to just 10 league games last year under Conte

David Luiz has started both pre-season games for Chelsea so far. Reuters
David Luiz has started both pre-season games for Chelsea so far. Reuters

Brazilian defender David Luiz is determined to stay at Chelsea and fight for his place after a difficult second season under Antonio Conte.

Luiz, 31, who spent three-and-a-half years at Chelsea before moving to Paris Saint-Germain in 2014, returned to the Premier League club in 2016 and won the title in his first season back at Stamford Bridge.

However, during last season's tumultuous campaign that saw Chelsea miss out on the top four, Luiz was limited to 10 league appearances due to a combination of injury and falling out of favour with Conte.

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Now the Brazilian is looking forward with optimism and has been encouraged by the work he and his teammates have done under new manager Maurizio Sarri.

"I came back to Chelsea to stay here," said Luiz. "When I took my decision to come back here from Paris it was to win the Premier League and to do something again with Chelsea, so I am very happy here.

"I love this philosophy. We play high, with a lot of possession of the ball, in a technical way. He is trying to help us every single day to learn his philosophy quickly, to do our best for Chelsea.

"We are trying to train really hard every single day, double sessions, to learn quickly. We're doing that every single day. A new philosophy always takes time.

"But it also depends on us, if we are dedicated every day and doing things every single day in training, especially in this beginning with these friendly games.

"We are trying to learn quickly. It depends also on us."

Luiz has started both pre-season games under Sarri - a 1-0 win over Perth Glory and a 1-1 draw with Inter Milan - and the former Benfica defender said he is prepared to work hard to cement his place in the team.

"I like to be happy, to enjoy my life," said Luiz, whose Chelsea contract expires next summer. "We have the best job in the world.

"[Sarri] came with this idea as a human being, so I think if you're not happy to do your job it doesn't matter if you're a footballer or not. We have to be happy to do our best.

"It is a physical and tactical challenge in pre-season. Every single aspect, every day. Physical, tactical, technical, football depends on everything. It is not just tactical, it is not just physical. You have to try every single day."

Chelsea next face Premier League rivals Arsenal in Dublin on Tuesday, before taking on Manchester City in the Community Shield on Sunday.

The London club conclude their pre-season against French side Lyon next Tuesday, August 7, before kicking off their Premier League campaign away to Huddersfield Town on Saturday, August 11.

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