Stan Collymore thinks Chelsea should have signed Eric Bailly over David Luiz

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Football News

Antonio Conte's very public summer search finally for a centre-back finally came to an end yesterday when he decided to bring David Luiz back to Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea had waited as long as they could to try and sign Kalidou Koulibaly from Napoli but once it became clear that the Italians weren't playing ball, it left Conte with little time to find an alternative.

As it turned out, they were still able to spend £34 million on Luiz, however, to the wider audience it has appeared to be somewhat of a panic purchase.

Stan Collymore firmly shares that stance and has branded the Brazilian 'one of the worst central defenders in Premier League history'.

Writing in his column for The Mirror, Collymore expressed his confusion at Chelsea's last piece of summer business.

"What surprises me about the signing of Luiz is that he doesn’t strike me as an Antonio Conte kind of guy," he said.

"Having worked with Leonardo Bonucci, Giorgio Chiellini and Andrea Barzagli, I’d have thought the Chelsea gaffer would have wanted a defender more of their ilk.

"Don’t get me wrong, Luiz is a decent footballer. He’s a European champion, and I like him as a defensive midfielder.

"But I can’t help but laugh that he has commanded more than £100m in transfer fees when he is one of the worst central defenders in Premier League history."

More frustratingly for Chelsea fans, who on the whole have reacted positively to Luiz's return, Collymore believes the ideal centre-half the Blues should have bought, signed for their Premier League rivals at the start of the summer.

And just to make it even worse, he has joined the team managed by their old manager Jose Mourinho.

That's right, Collymore thinks Manchester United new boy Eric Bailly would have been the perfect summer addition to Chelsea's ageing defence.

He added: "I can’t help but think there were much better options on the market this summer who would have represented far better value for money.

"Namely Eric Bailly, a young man who is already a very good defender but in time will be an exceptional one.

"He has the raw materials and the chance to spend a year, maybe two, training and playing alongside Terry would have benefited him and Chelsea greatly."

"Instead, Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho, the man who sold Luiz to Paris Saint-Germain in his second spell at the Bridge, beat his old club to the punch."

The former Liverpool forward's comments are unlikely to go down well, however, he does make a valid point.

If Conte hadn't been managing Italy during Euro 2016, Chelsea might have had a chance at pinching Bailly from Villareal before United.

Bailly's impressive start to the campaign shows he is ready-made for the Premier League and with Luiz set to turn 30-years-old, a viable long-term replacement for John Terry remains to be established.

It will be up to Luiz to prove Collymore wrong and show that he is worth the extortionate fees clubs are bizarrely comfortable paying for him.

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David Luiz
Premier League
Manchester United
Eric Bailly
Jose Mourinho

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