David Luiz has confirmed that he planned to leave Chelsea this summer had Antonio Conte remained as manager.
Speaking in an interview with Sky Sports, the Brazilian said that the arrival of Maurizio Sarri convinced him to stay at the club rather than push for a move away.
He also downplayed the importance his former manager’s decision to deploy a back three as a reason for his good form since returning to London from Paris Saint-Germain.
“Maurizio Sarri already teach me many things I have not saw before,” said Luiz. “I already had a coach the same way as him – Jorge Jesus when I had him at Benfica, he was also like that. It’s important because we play one-on-one with the ball.”
Sarri quickly moved away from using a three man defence after taking charge in the summer.
In the same interview, the former Napoli boss said: “I tried to do it six years ago but after two or three matches I realised that for me it’s impossible.”
Despite winning the Premier League in 2017 under Conte in a 3-4-2-1 system that seemed well-suited to his game, Luiz believes that he is best when deployed in a back four.
“I already played more in my life in a back four than a back three,” he said. “I start to play back three when I was 17 then I come back to play a back three two years ago here.
“I think I’m more adept with a back four than a back three.”
However, he had other disputes with Conte besides tactics and team shape to the extent that he would have forced his way out had the Italian remained in charge this season.
“The last season was not the best season for me,” he said. “Inside the pitch but also I learn a lot from outside the pitch as a person, as a man, everything. It’s always great to be inside the pitch and I’m always happy to play football.
“If the manager had stayed the same then yeah of course. Everybody knows maybe I would have to move clubs. But not so now I’m here and so happy.”