David Luiz says a difference in vision with Chelsea manager Frank Lampard ultimately led to his exit from Stamford Bridge this summer.
The 32-year-old Brazilian defender ended a three-year spell with the Blues when he joined London rivals Arsenal on deadline day.
It was the second time Luiz has left Chelsea, having previously signed for Paris Saint-Germain in 2014 after joining the west Londoners three years prior from Benfica.
Luiz subsequently made his Gunners debut in their 2-1 win over Burnley at the Emirates stadium; a mixed affair given he was caught out for Ashley Barnes’ equaliser, though largely gave a good account of himself.
He would have been preparing for the visit of Leicester City, on the back of playing in the Uefa Super Cup, but for a one-on-one meeting with incoming boss – and former Blues teammate – Lampard.
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“It is a new challenge in my career, where I took the decision to fight for new things, and I enjoyed it in the best way possible,” he told Mundo ESPN.
“In talks with Frank [Lampard], [he said] he had a different plan for the year. So we spoke in total honesty, and he made it clear that he had different ideas from mine. So I had this opportunity, to receive an offer from Arsenal, which is a great club.
“I still respect Chelsea. It’s never easy for people to understand everything that goes through. But my decision was also to respect Chelsea and their new manager, who wanted to implement a different philosophy at the club.
“And so I decided to get on this new journey, a new home, where I’ll do everything to shine as well.”
Luiz’s time at Chelsea: Five key things to know…
- Luiz initially joined Chelsea from Benfica in 2011.
- He left for PSG three years later after winning both the Champions League and Europa League titles.
- Luiz then returned and played an instrumental role in their 2016/17 championship triumph.
- During his time at the Bridge he played 107 times alongside Lampard.
- Lampard, now the Chelsea boss, didn’t see Luiz as part of his first team plans which led to his Arsenal move.