Chelsea spent a good portion of the transfer window looking for a new centre back, with names from Italy such as Napoli's Kalidou Koulibaly and Torino's Nikola Maksimovic believed to be the team's primary targets during the last month. However, instead of bringing in a brand new face, the Blues decided to welcome back a former fan favourite in David Luiz.
Luiz left the club in the summer of 2014 without a proper chance to bid farewell to the staff and his teammates before his switch to Ligue 1 juggernauts PSG. This time, he made sure not to see history repeat itself, going back to Paris a few days after the transfer to say his goodbyes. Unsurprisingly, David had enjoyed a good rapport with fans and teammates alike at PSG, just as he had at Chelsea and Benfica before then.
"I think that sometimes the life is great but I was feeling sad when I left, especially because I didn’t say goodbye to anybody. But I can say now that my relationship with everyone here was always amazing, with everyone working here and with the players and I can feel the same respect and the same love now."
"So if I had the opportunity to go back into the past, I would say a special thank you to everybody because I spent three-and-a-half years here and they were amazing. I was growing a lot and that is why I just had great memories of here."
"I am a lucky guy. I’ve had the opportunity to play in Europe for amazing clubs. I had a great relationship with Benfica, a great relationship here and a great relationship with PSG."
"When I left my family my mum and dad taught me to respect everybody before everything else. It does not matter if you win or lose in life, you need to respect everybody. That is what I try to do every day."
The nature and the timing of the center back’s return to Stamford Bridge had left many scratching their heads as to reasons why, but the now 29-year-old claims the decision was his. This matches reports on deadline day, which claimed that the transfer was dead in the water until David Luiz himself told the PSG board that he wanted to leave.
"It was my decision [to return], yes. I really wanted to come back because I spent an amazing time here. I loved to be here and that is why I want to come back."
During his first spell at Chelsea from 2011 to 2014, Luiz helped the club win domestic and continental titles in the FA Cup, the Champions League and the Europa League. There's one glaring miss in his trophy case, though: the English Premier League. He’s hoping to correct that record as early as this season.
"It is time to do it! And I hope it will be this year. I am working hard for that and this is our goal this season. We don’t have the Champions League to fight for so for sure we will try to win the Premier League and both cups."
Whether in a back three (unlikely) or a back four (likely) or maybe midfield (also unlikely), David Luiz is ready for action.
"I started playing three at the back with Vitoria in Brazil, but it doesn’t matter where, I want to help and when I am in the team I am there to try to help."
"The coach is an amazing coach, he understands a lot of tactical things and I know he chooses every match the best line up, so if he needs to play three, four or two, it doesn’t matter, I am there if he wants me to play. In different positions I am available."
-David Luiz; Source: Chelsea FC