David Luiz says Rafael Benitez has improved him

Chelsea's David Luiz celebrates his free-kick against Aston Villa on December 23, 2012
© PA Photos
David Luiz says that Rafael Benitez has improved him as a player.

Chelsea defender David Luiz has credited Rafael Benitez for making him a better player.

The Brazilian was criticised for his style of defending during his first 18 months at the club, although manager Benitez has sometimes preferred to play the 25-year-old in a holding role in midfield since his arrival last year.

The switch has resulted in an upturn in fortunes for the former Benfica man, with him mainly being deployed as one of the first-choice central defenders since, and Luiz believes that his improvement has been largely been down to Benitez's tinkering.

"Rafa Benitez has helped me a lot," Luiz is quoted as saying in The Express.

"I love the philosophy he puts to the Chelsea players. He gives me confidence to try shots and passes to help the team."

Luiz was signed from Benfica in January 2011 for a reported fee of £25m.

David Luiz celebrates with teammates after scoring the opening goal against Fulham on April 17, 2013
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