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'Warrior' Luiz is playing through the pain barrier - Conte

11:43 PM MYT 10/02/2017
HD David Luiz celebrates goal v Liverpool
The Blues boss has lauded his summer signing over his performances and also insisted that Willian and Cesc Fabregas remain important players

David Luiz has been playing through the pain barrier and is still suffering with the knee injury he picked up against Manchester City in December.

The 30-year-old centre-back made his return to Chelsea in the summer in a deadline-day £32 million move from Paris Saint-Germain and has proved his critics wrong with a number of impressive performances.

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And Conte has explained at a press conference at Cobham Training Centre on Friday that Luiz is still playing through pain but that he is a warrior that is able to cope with it.

“Yes [everybody is fit to face Burnley], he [Luiz] is available,” he said. “He played and he is fit, he is good. For sure, he is playing with a little pain in his knee, but he is a warrior.

“I think he is playing very well and I am pleased for him, but I hope to continue in this way. For sure, he is showing me great attitude, great will to continue to fight despite sometimes having a bit of pain.”

Conte hasn’t had to rotate his squad too much with few injuries or suspensions this season, but in recent weeks Willian and Cesc Fabregas have impressed with their performances after coming off the bench.

The Brazilian winger insisted on Thursday that Manchester United made enquiries to sign him, while Fabregas has long been linked with a switch to Italy.

But Conte is adamant they both remain important players to Chelsea, telling reporters: “I don’t know about this news [Willian to Manchester United].

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“This is not important for me. What’s important is the present and to be focused. To try to make the best choice for the team - to try to win.

“There is this possibility [they could start against Burnley] because we are talking about two great players and to have Cesc and Willian on the bench or on the pitch, it's very important. 

“I think that also Pedro is playing very well. He is in great form. Cesc, when he plays, he is playing very well.  Will I call him to come on the pitch [and start]? I could.

“I have different solutions, for sure, but for me the most important thing is that I can count on the squad and every single player is in good form. 

“It is very important to have good form and, above all, a good attitude, a good behaviour to be involved totally with the team. Whether you start in the XI or on the bench and then you play.”