Chelsea defender David Luiz says boss Antonio Conte has helped mould him into one of the most impressive defenders in the Premier League.
Luiz has excelled in his second spell at Stamford Bridge under the Italian, having cut out most of the inconsistencies which dogged his first spell in west London.
And the Brazilian’s talismanic qualities in Chelsea’s back three were noted by his fellow professionals who voted him into the Professional Footballers’ Association Premier League team of the season.
Luiz, who is expected to shake off a minor injury to help his side close in on the title against Middlesbrough on Monday night, hailed Conte’s management style.
Luiz told Chelsea’s official website: “I love working with him. He works on the details and he’s helped me a lot so it’s very good to work with him.
“When I decided to come back I knew I would work with a fantastic coach, at a fantastic club, in a fantastic city and with many fantastic players.”
Chelsea’s march to the title can be traced back to Conte’s brave decision to employ a back three after worrying early-season defeats to Liverpool and Arsenal.
The move sent the Blues on a 13-match winning run which swept them to the top of the table and almost certainly to the title after rivals Tottenham lost to West Ham on Friday.
Luiz added: “After those two games (Liverpool and Arsenal) we changed our system and it’s worked very well because of the quality of our players, the style and the way we play.
“In the Premier League you don’t have a lot of time to cry. There are always big games and you need to react within three or four days.
“We trusted our quality and it’s good to have the sense to understand games. You need to analyse those type of situations, which is what we did, and after that it’s gone very well.”