David Luiz has told Jose Mourinho he has nothing to prove - but insists he understands the rotation policy and remains happy at Chelsea.
The Brazilian defender has been among the Blues' stand-out players since settling after his move from Benfica in 2011.
However, since Mourinho returned to Stamford Bridge, Luiz has found he is no longer guaranteed a place in the starting line-up. Against Fulham at the weekend he was not even included on the bench, a punishment for a below-par performance in the Champions League against Basle.
Luiz was recalled last night for the 2-0 Capital One Cup win over Swindon, but will likely be back on the bench for the Premier League game against Tottenham.
Asked if he has been negatively affected by Mourinho’s treatment, he told the Evening Standard: “It was just one game. Sometimes when other players go out of the team, people don’t say anything.
“I don’t need to prove anything. Everyone knows who David Luiz is, I want to play football and enjoy myself on the pitch so when I have an opportunity to play, I want to enjoy just that. I am just one player in the team. Sometimes the manager can put me in, sometimes not. It’s his choice.”
Luiz, who was a summer target for Barcelona, Paris St-Germain and Bayern Munich added: “This is a big club and we have many, many good players. If Chelsea just had 11 players we would win nothing.
“We don’t have to prove anything. We just have to show we want to play. Everyone had an opportunity to play against Swindon and show our football.
“Last year you could talk about seven players being on the bench and the next year is the same. Mourinho chooses his 11 players to play, his philosophy and tries to do the best job for Chelsea. That for me is normal.
“Of course, it was good to beat Swindon. It’s a cup competition, we are a big club and we want to win this as well. It was good for me and the team.”
Chelsea’s match with Spurs means Mourinho will be playing a team managed by his former assistant Andre Villas-Boas for the first time.
Their relationship soured after Villas-Boas quit his coaching team at Inter Milan to start his own managerial career but Luiz said: “It is Tottenham v Chelsea, not Mourinho v Villas-Boas. It will be a fantastic derby. Everyone will want to watch this game, everyone will want to play in this game. It will be fantastic.
“They have a great team, it is always so difficult to play against them and this season is the same.
“We need to play to win because we want to be top of the table.”
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