Signing David Luiz onto new contract means more to Chelsea than just what he brings on the pitch

Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri will be thankful to his top bosses at Stamford Bridge after they overthrew their standard of not awarding long-term contracts to players over the age of 30, for David Luiz – and rightly so.

The defender has been in good form for the Blues since the Italian manager was hired to replace Antonio Conte, who decided Luiz’s career at the Bridge should come to an end – until his own demise came faster. Luiz has fought back to take up his place in defence from the burgeoning Andreas Christensen and this season played a vital role for the Blues alongside Antonio Rudiger.

But the new contract he signed that sees him wear the blue shirt until 2021, via the BBC, signals huge backing by the club who now need commitment from their best players in a time of crisis.

FIFA’s transfer ban still holds and Chelsea cannot sign players this summer so Luiz’s strong abilities on the ball and in the tackle will come in handy while his presence in the dressing room also makes him a must-stay beyond for the next campaign. Captain Gary Cahill is certain to leave and the future of Eden Hazard, which is unclear, makes it even more difficult to lose an influential player like Luiz who must be desperate to keep playing at the top level until he retires.