Chelsea's summer recruit David Luiz looks like a "serious defender" under Antonio Conte, according to Jamie Redknapp. The pundit has been impressed by the Brazilian since his move from Paris Saint-Germain, observing that Luiz looks a much better player than he did during his first spell at Stamford Bridge.
Luiz, 29, played for the Blues from 2011 until 2014, when he moved to the French capital. But his career at Stamford Bridge was blighted by high-profile errors – and Luiz's shock return to West London during the summer transfer window created a lot of discussion among fans.
Redknapp, though, has admitted to being pleasantly surprised by the defender, having watched the Brazilian excel during Chelsea's 2-0 win against Southampton on Sunday (30 October). "There is a hunger about this Chelsea team," Redknapp said on Sky Sports. "The manager has brought that in and the players are buying into it.
"Every single player on that pitch is working hard and there's a desire about them again. Conte has got them so well drilled. Everybody knows their job when they have the ball and it suits them defensively as well.
"Luiz looks – I'm scared to say it – like a serious defender. You've got him buying into it as well, and that was a problem for Chelsea for many years. But when he's like that, he looks the real deal."
Chelsea's disciplined defensive display also impressed Gary Neville, who was previously critical of Luiz for overplaying in dangerous areas of the pitch. "This Chelsea team have not made a mistake today, they've not put a foot wrong," the former Manchester United captain said.
"The concentration and focus is there but the clean sheet mentality is the big thing for me, and it's there right through the team these past few weeks. Even Luiz is kicking it into the stand when two years ago he might have done a Cruyff turn and tried to beat the attacker."