David Luiz dedicates special message to Chelsea signing ahead of Stoke clash, Thierry Henry: This is the secret behind Chelsea’s success under Antonio Conte, Chelsea may have to pay £40m to land Conte’s top January target

David Luiz dedicated a cheeky Instagram post to Marcos Alonso on Wednesday as the Chelsea defender celebrated his 26th birthday.

The 26-year-old full-back has enjoyed a productive start to life as a Chelsea player despite initial surprise surrounding the west London side’s decision to recruit the Spanish defender in a £19m deal from Serie A outfit Fiorentina.

Alonso made a slow start to his Chelsea career and the former Sunderland defender didn’t make his first Premier League start for the west London side until a 2-0 win against Hull City at the KCOM Stadium in early October.

The Spanish defender has since played a key part in Chelsea’s 12-game winning run that has seen Conte’s side keep a remarkable nine clean sheets and beat title rivals such as Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur.

And Luiz, who also moved to Chelsea in a £32m deal from Ligue 1 giants Paris Saint-Germain in the summer transfer window, posted the above photo of Alonso as he wished the defender a happy birthday on his Instagram story.

Chelsea are six points clear of second-placed Liverpool after 18 games.

Thierry Henry: This is the secret behind Chelsea’s success under Antonio Conte

Thierry Henry has hailed Antonio Conte’s Chelsea.

Chelsea currently lead the league after 18 games, with Conte’s men six points clear of Liverpool.

Manchester City and Arsenal occupy the other top-four spots.

The Blues are in stunning form under Conte and have won 12 league games on the spin.

And Henry is a big fan of the league leaders, claiming their defensive record is instrumental to their success.

“I just think at the moment, when you are in that run, things go your way all the time,” Henry told Sky Sports.

“You have to give them credit for the plan, the way they play and the structure.

“Whoever plays in that structure plays well all the time; Pedro, Victor Moses, Marcos Alonso.

“Yes, it is up to other teams to put on pressure, but they don’t concede goals, it’s vital.”

Chelsea may have to pay £40m to land Conte’s top January target

As reported in an exclusive by The Sun, Antonio Conte’s Chelsea are intent on bringing Arturo Vidal to Stamford Bridge from Bayern Munich.

Chelsea are absolutely flying in the Premier League but that isn’t stopping Antonio Conte from seeking improvement in his team.

The Sun report that the Blues have a serious interest in Bayern Munich’s star midfielder Arturo Vidal and could spend up to £40m to land their man.

Vidal and Conte have a good relationship so personal terms are not thought to be a problem if a fee can be agreed between the two clubs.

Conte is on the record as being a big admirer of the Chilean midfielder.

Quoted by The Sun, he said of Vidal: “He has extraordinary physical and technical attributes, if I get to coach him a little more it’d be fantastic. I want him on all my teams.”

Vidal is of course well known to Antonio Conte. The Chilean midfielder played under the Italian at Juventus and was a regular in his side. They won 3 Serie A titles together in a highly successful period. He’d be a perfect fit in Conte’s current system, able to attack and defend with equal ability.

With over 400 professional appearances in Germany and Italy, he has the experience required to make an impact on the Premier League.

For Chile too, he excels. He has 82 caps for his country and has scored 20 goals in the process, an impressive return for a midfielder.

With 17 major honours won across his career, he’s a born winner and that’s what Chelsea need to bring them over the line in tournaments and competitions on a consistent basis.

If the move comes off, it could be a marriage made in heaven for both parties.

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