Chelsea boss Frank Lampard has revealed that David Luiz’s move to Arsenal was driven by competition for places.
Luiz, 32, shocked the football world on Wednesday when news emerged that he was to force through a move to Chelsea’s London rivals, Arsenal.
One of the summer’s weirdest transfers? Five things to know about David Luiz to Arsenal…
- Luiz initially signed for Chelsea in 2011 but left for PSG in 2014 before returning two years later.
- The Brazilian centre-back played a crucial role in Chelsea’s title victory in 2016/17.
- Only three Chelsea players made more league appearances than Luiz last season (36).
- Luiz played more through balls than any player in the division last season (41)
- He cost the Gunners just £8 million.
Speaking to the press before Chelsea’s opening day blockbuster against Manchester United, Lampard said: “We had some conversations over the last week, honest ones and the conclusion was that he should move on.
“It’s a position that I have a lot of competition. Everyone has to understand that. He has moved on and we wish him the absolute best because he has been a big part of our history.
“There wasn’t any strikes. No fall-outs, just honest conversations. As a player, I want that as a manager, and I think I got that from David. Him not training was a decision I made as I felt that [it was right] at the time.
“You can’t dictate too much what happens at times. The decision was that he moves on to Arsenal and I focus on here. Yes, he is a good player.”
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No transfers, no problem?
Despite Chelsea’s transfer ban, the Blues will arguably have more competition than ever before.
Centre-back is an especially well-stocked position for Chelsea: Antonio Rudiger, Andreas Christensen, Fikayo Tomori, Kurt Zouma and Cesar Azpilicueta are all more than capable of playing in the middle. Luiz may have been the first choice last season, but the Brazilian clearly did not want any uncertainty: after all, he is now 32 years old.
The returning loanees will offer a desire to play greater than many signings Chelsea would have otherwise made. Players like Tammy Abraham, Michy Batshuayi and Mason Mount have been waiting for their chance for a while now and will be eager to take their chance.