Antonio Conte has suggested that his decision to drop David Luiz from his Chelsea squad that faced Manchester United was down to the defender’s form.
Reports in the British press leading up to Chelsea’s clash with Jose Mourinho’s men at Stamford Bridge on Sunday had said that Luiz was expected to be left on the bench following his shaky showing in the 3-0 loss to Roma in midweek.
It came as a surprise then when the 30-year-old wasn’t even named as a substitute, with Luiz spending the Chelsea game watching on from the bench alongside Kenedy.
Conte initially told Sky Sports after the 1-0 win for Chelsea that he didn’t know whether Luiz had a future at the club, saying: “He has to work really hard otherwise he is on the bench or in the stand.”
While Conte reiterated in his post-match press conference that Luiz’s omission was down to “tactical” reasons, he also suggested it was down to the Brazilian’s form.
The Italian said: “It’s only a tactical decision, only a tactical decision, only a tactical decision. It’s normal. This can happen to every one of my players, if I see that they are not in good form.
“I repeat: I have to put my face in every situation, and then to sometimes make important decisions. Today I did this and I think [Andreas] Christensen played a massive game. I was very happy for this.”
When then asked to clarify his comments about Luiz’s future at Chelsea, Conte replied: “I think that I have a squad. I have a squad with 16 senior players, and five young players. I have these players, and then I repeat I have to make the best decision for the team. I try to do this.
“But are you talking about the future? Every day you put my future (in the spotlight). I think it’s normal that, from now until the end, every game, every day, someone puts my future in discussion. In question.”
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