Having seen the Brazilian flourish under his leadership, Rafael Benitez has praised the commitment of David Luiz to the current campaign.
The defender has been one of the outstanding Chelsea performers this season, whether it be in his usual position or higher up the pitch in midfield. Having just turned 26, there are still years ahead for the former Benfica man to improve still further.
‘The good thing about him is that he is really good now,’ Benitez said. ‘He can do a lot of things, almost everything, really well, better than the majority of players. He is still young and keen to learn, so I think he will be even better.
‘He has a lot of positives, a lot of good things, and has improved a lot. He is more mature and will [continue to] improve.’
David Luiz has been criticised in some quarters for his reaction to Rafael’s foul on him at Manchester United on Sunday, but Benitez had only positives to describe his player.
‘He is a person that likes to enjoy life,’ the Spaniard said. ‘He is a very good professional working very hard but he likes to joke because he is a funny person.
‘He is very serious and professional and concentrated on his job. He has a good character and mentality to improve and play well. He knows what I want, what we are trying to do, and he is trying to do this in every training session.’
It is a trait Benitez recognises throughout his squad, when assessing the six months he has spent at the club, and believes it is a key factor in ensuring he remains on task with helping the club qualify for next season’s Champions League.
‘My job is to do what I have to do, to finish in the top four or three. We’re in a final, and that’s it. A lot of fans realise the job we’re doing and I will keep trying to do a professional job until the end.
‘When you’re in a team and enjoy working with players and staff, the staff is really good, we’ve had a very good relationship with all of them. The players want to play and with the majority I’ve had a very good relationship. You can see a lot of them improving and enjoying their football.
‘Talk with them and a lot of them will say they are happy and improving. Some will want to play more games [but] I am sure they are happy with the way we are trying to do things.’