'One of the world's best' - Ex-Chelsea star Alex calls on Blues to keep David Luiz

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The out-of-favour defender has received the support of his countryman, amid interest from Ligue 1 outfit Monaco

David Luiz has received the backing of former Chelsea defender Alex, who believes his compatriot is still one of the world's best in his position.

Luiz's extravagant defending has made him an easy target for critics when things go wrong, a cross he has had to bear throughout his career. 

And after a wonderful 2016-17 season helped Chelsea take the Premier League title, he has struggled this term by making just 14 appearances in all competitions.

Monaco are one of the teams who are interested in ending Luiz's struggles at Stamford Bridge but according to Alex, the Brazilian centre-back is still an asset for Chelsea.

"He has been out for two or three months with a knee problem. He was very good last year, it worked out well in the Conte line-up with three defenders," Alex told Goal.

"There are many defenders who like to play in this line-up. David Luiz did very well as a libero. Unfortunately, he did not start well this season. I'm not sure what happened, probably a problem, so he lost his place in the starting line-up. I'm very fond of him. He's a great friend, a great person.

"Could he leave? It's difficult to talk, every day you may be surprised... We do not know yet if the coach will continue. Sometimes a new coach arrives, and the player ends up receiving more opportunities. David is an experienced player. For me, he should not leave, because Chelsea is an exceptional club. I think he should stay and try one more time. For the quality he has, the player that he is, the opportunities will appear.

"I have seen great players, especially in my position, who lost their place in their teams, for example John Terry, a player I always saw as the best player in the world of my position at that time.

"[Luiz], due to injury and some other things, has also lost his spot. David Luiz is still a great defender, and he's not that old! You have to turn things around."

Alex arrived at Stamford Bridge from Brazilian side Santos in the summer of 2004, although he was unable to make his debut until three years later due to work permit issues.

That summer coincided with the arrival of Jose Mourinho for his first spell with the Blues and Alex admitted he was rather nervous at the prospect of working with the infamous manager. 

HD Alex Chelsea

"You either love or hate Mourinho? I thought exactly the same, especially when I got to Chelsea!" the former PSV, Paris Saint-Germain and Milan ace recalled. 

"I was 24 years old, full of fears, having listened to and read a lot about him in the press... But I found a person who helped me a lot.

"We worked only three months together, yet he has been a big part of my career. I was very surprised to find a Mourinho who was totally contrary to what they said and wrote."

One manager, however, that did not win Alex's admiration was Andre Villas-Boas, whom he accused of showing senior players a "lack of respect". 

"The work of Villas-Boas on the field was very good, the players accepted it well. He has a style similar to that of Mourinho," he said.

HD Alex Villas-Boas Chelsea

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"I ended up being turned away by him, but to this day I know I did not make any mistakes, neither against the team nor against him. [Nicolas] Anelka and I ended up apart, we were training separately. But it's soccer stuff, it's already in the past...

"I did not expect all that. I did not even expect to leave Chelsea. What people said a lot was his lack of respect, especially with [Frank] Lampard. He put Lampard in reserve and did not say anything.

"A player like Lampard or Terry is not that you have the need to justify yourself to them, but it's important to have a conversation. I also saw Ancelotti and Guus Hiddink putting important players in reserve, but they always talked to them before."

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