Pat Nevin says Chelsea defender David Luiz is the best footballing centre-back in the Premier League.
Former Blues winger Nevin, now a respected pundit, says Luiz’s ability to bring the ball out of defence and instigate attacks with his quick passing and vision has been instrumental in the unbeaten start to the season.
The 31-year-old Brazilian has helped new manager Maurizio Sarri guide Chelsea to third place in the table having won eight and drawn four of their 12 matches.
“Luiz has a huge effect on ‘Sarriball’. He is the fourth top passer in the Premier League and is vital,” Nevin told West London Sport.
“People will concentrate more on the tiny percentage of things he gets wrong than all the good things he does.”
Luiz, who is in his second spell at Stamford Bridge, has started every one of the 12 Premier League games having regained his place after falling out of favour under previous boss Antonio Conte.
“I do laugh at the criticism he gets,” Nevin added. “He has shown how well he can play in a back four. Chelsea are still unbeaten so he must be doing OK.
“He is the best player in the league in that position. It hurts people to say it. He is not a typical British centre-back so former defenders think he should just defend first and foremost.
“But things have worked so quickly under Sarri. It’s astounding.
“Manchester City are the best but it took Pep Guardiola time to get it right. If Chelsea get fourth that would be amazing and in a way they would have over-achieved. Next season will be intriguing – fascinating.”