EDEN HAZARD says David Luiz is the funniest player at Chelsea.
Luiz has been at the forefront of Chelsea speculation in the past week after he was dropped from the matchday squad to face Manchester United.
Without him Andreas Christensen took his place in the starting XI and put in a commanding display to stop United striker Romelu Lukaku from scoring.
After the match, Chelsea boss Antonio Conte said he was unsure if Luiz had a future at Stamford Bridge.
But Hazard remains a big fan of the centre-back and hailed his influence in the dressing room – hinting to his manager that the Brazilian should remain part of his plans.
When asked who was the funniest member of the Chelsea squad, Hazard told Soccer AM: “David Luiz, the geezer.
“Always smiling, he is in a good mood every time, so it is good to have people like this in the changing room. He is funny.”
Commenting on Luiz’s omission, former Chelsea player Ray Wilkins reckoned Conte made the right decision.
“He’s not been playing well,” Wilkins told Premier League Daily.
“He’s lackadaisical as a defender but I think he is a very good midfield player and I have said this on numerous occasions.
“Christensen came in yesterday and played very, very well indeed in a massive game.
“How many times do you see Christensen in advance of the ball? You don’t, because he thinks defensively.
“With Luiz you see him in advance of the ball on numerous occasions during every game he plays and consequently, Chelsea suffer defensively.
“I thought the decision to drop Luiz was the right decision. I saw him play against Roma [a 3-0 Champions League defeat] the other night and he didn’t look anywhere near it. That was a poor performance.
“Yesterday was one of effervescence, they had life, and I thought Chelsea deserved to win.”
Barcelona linked with surprise move for Chelsea defender
Spanish giants Barcelona have today been linked with a move for Chelsea defender David Luiz.
The South American was dropped for the Blues’ recent Premier League clash with Manchester United, with Antonio Conte admitting after his side’s 1-0 victory that he is no longer certain of Luiz’s place at the club:
‘I don’t know [if he has a future at Chelsea], he has to work really hard with the others, otherwise they are on the bench or in the stand.’
Unsurprisingly, Conte’s admission led to immediate links between Luiz and a number of Europe’s top clubs, with La Liga giants Barcelona the latest side touted as a potential destination for the Selecao international.
With Javier Mascherano hinting at a departure from the Camp Nou in the near future, and Yerry Mina (who will arrive at the club next year from Palmeiras) having no European experience under his belt, the Blaugrana are reportedly on the lookout for central defensive reinforcements.
And, as per a number of outlets in the English press this morning, the board at the La Liga leaders view Luiz, who is of course renowned for his abilities on the ball, as an ideal arrival at the club next summer.