Friday, November 15, 2019

Chelsea can cope without Courtois & Hazard – Luiz

SoccerNews in English Premier League 6 Aug 2018

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Chelsea have the strength to match their Premier League rivals even if Eden Hazard and Thibaut Courtois inflict a transfer double blow, according to David Luiz.

Uncertainty continues to cloud the Belgium stars less than a week out from the season-opening trip to Huddersfield Town.

Real Madrid have been heavily linked with both players and neither has quashed speculation surrounding their futures.

Maurizio Sarri is due to hold face-to-face talks with goalkeeper Courtois on Monday and, after speaking recently with the pair, is hopeful of “more good than bad” news on their willingness to stay at Stamford Bridge.

Luiz, who played 90 minutes in Sunday’s 2-0 loss to Manchester City in the Community Shield, is adamant last season’s FA Cup winners can keep pace with their competitors even if Courtois and Hazard pursue moves.

“Of course. I think Chelsea has a fantastic squad, with fantastic players,” the Brazilian told reporters.

“I want them to stay, because we have top players with the confidence.

“They know Chelsea a lot, so they know what they’ve had here, the fun they’ve had here. Everybody loves them and I hope they can stay.

“[But] if they decide to leave, I think we will continue with fantastic players.”

Last season’s FA Cup winners have had more success with convincing Willian to spurn reported interest from Barcelona and Manchester United.

The 29-year-old winger affirmed his commitment to Chelsea on Sunday and the decision came as no surprise to compatriot Luiz.

“He’s a fantastic player and a fantastic friend,” the defender said. “I’ve known Willian since I was eight, so a long time.

“Willian loves Chelsea. He played today after the World Cup, he already showed his quality, so I wanted him to stay.

“Chelsea loves Willian, Willian loves Chelsea, so that’s great.”

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