David Luiz may not yet be ready to start for Antonio Conte's Chelsea, but it sounds like the boss has high expectations for the curly haired one.
"I think David Luiz's qualities are somewhere in the middle between Bonucci and Barzagli. He is good technically and has good personality like Bonucci, and he likes to play football like Bonucci likes to play football, and also I find the good physical potential like Barzagli."
Conte has apparently been surprised by the number of times he's had to defend Chelsea's big-money summer acquisition, but even though David Luiz arrived seemingly as a panic buy, he will, most likely become an automatic first-choice option as soon as he's deemed fit to start. And if there's room for improvement — just as there was room with Bonucci and Barzagli and Chiellini — then Conte will make sure to bring it out in him.
"I am happy David Luiz is with us because I know that together with Marcos Alonso, he can improve a lot this squad, and I am a bit surprised about this situation around David Luiz because I think he is good player. He has showed this in his career because he has won a lot. Also in some situations he lost but I think he is a good defender, a good centre-back."
"I don't want to speak about the past and now I am the coach of David Luiz and I have a great responsibility to improve him. If someone thinks a player loses concentration during the game, my task is to improve this aspect and I am not afraid of this."
"I want to work with him and with my players, improve them with my work and if this [loss of concentration] happen in a game, I won't be happy. I don't like this but it is my blame."
"David Luiz always played with PSG when he was in good physical condition and PSG won a lot of titles. David is a natural player but if he must improve in some aspect, I am here for this, to improve the players, work on their weakness and make them stronger."
-Antonio Conte; source: Chelsea FC
Fairly standard stuff from Conte at this point, about the constant improvement, about the work and the fight, though he also highlighted the positive attitude that David Luiz brings to the dressing room.
"It's important to have in the squad players with a good personality. Also, I want personality on the pitch. I'm very happy when I have a player with a great personality."
"This changing room is a good changing room. Every player has their own personality. Many players often don't show the personality but they have great personality. Sometimes they didn't need to talk but sometimes I prefer the fight. This changing room has many great personalities."
"I'm working with him six days but my first impression is important because he's a positive guy. He's always smiling and it's good but when we start to work we work. For me he's a positive guy and now we have many personalities."
-Antonio Conte; source: Get West London
That's why many of us called him future captain back in the day, Antonio!