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'He's the best centre-half in the league' - Lampard hails Chelsea's David Luiz

Goal.com logo Goal.com 07-03-2017

David Luiz is “probably the best centre-half in the Premier League”, according to Chelsea legend Frank Lampard.

Eyebrows were raised when the Blues brought the enigmatic defender back to Stamford Bridge from Paris Saint-Germain last summer.

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The Brazilian was accused of over-playing and enduring lapses in concentration during a previous spell in west London.

He has, however, thrived in a 3-4-3 system under Antonio Conte and Lampard believes he has developed into one of the finest players in the English top-flight.

After including the Samba star in his Premier League Team of the Season so far, the Blues icon told Sky Sports: “I think David Luiz has matured. He was a very good player before - we won the Champions League with him and Gary Cahill as centre-halves in the final - but the criticism of him at that point could have been 'can he make a mistake and does he try and over-play?'

“Since he's been back, in a role in the middle of a back three, he has shown discipline and quality on the ball. His defensive stuff has been brilliant and I couldn't leave him out.

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“He's probably the best centre-half in the league, for me, this season.”

Eden Hazard, N’Golo Kante, Cesar Azpilicueta and Diego Costa also made the cut, but it was the selection of Luiz’s centre-half partner that caused the biggest surprise.

Lampard, though, believes Michael Keane, who has been linked with a move to Chelsea, is fully deserving of his place and is destined for big things in the future – be that at Burnley or elsewhere.

He added: “Why did I pick Michael Keane? I think we have to give credit to Burnley as a team and to a player who has been let go by a top team and had to go back down the ladder and prove himself.

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“I've seen some games where he has been fantastic this year. He might not be in everyone's team of the year - I could have picked anyone from Chelsea's back three and didn't want to overload with Chelsea - but you have to give respect to young English players who have made a mark in a team that are defending a lot.

“He has been outstanding. If he goes on, the big clubs will come calling.”

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