David Luiz has reiterated that it was not a fallout with Frank Lampard that made him leave Chelsea this summer.
The Brazilian defender swapped Chelsea for Arsenal this summer in a move that caught most off guard.
Few predicted that Luiz would depart Chelsea, with most instead believing he would become a key player under Lampard’s reign, particularly given their transfer ban this season.
That didn’t prove to be the case, though, as Luiz left for the Emirates in an £8m move on deadline day of the transfer window.
There have been suggestions that a falling out with Lampard was the cause, something that Luiz has since denied.
And when asked why he left the club this summer in an interview with UOL Sport, he again insisted that wasn’t the reason.
“I think like everywhere there will always be makeovers, new groups, new professionals, and Chelsea is experiencing a new moment,” he said.
“My decision was more of an individual decision made through honest conversation – between me and Frank Lampard, no one else.
“We had a different idea of the future of the game, and that’s why I chose to take a new path. We always had a good relationship.”
Deciding to leave Chelsea was not an easy decision for Luiz, who has built up a strong relationship with the club over two spells with them.
He became a firm fan favourite during his first spell and rekindled that when he returned from Paris Saint Germain in 2016.
And he says that, despite playing for a rival these days, he will always have respect and affection for his friends at his former club.
“I’ve always liked (Chelsea) yes, no doubt. My respect and affection for all people remain the same inside,” he added.
“A new moment has come in my career, a new cycle where I have had the opportunity to move to another major club, pursuing ambitions to win titles.
“That’s how I went everywhere, and that’s how I hope it can happen at Arsenal as well.
“So I saw this possibility of writing a new story in a new place, but I am forever grateful to Chelsea, to all people, to friendships that are for life.
“I get messages to this day from everyone in the club because what I built inside was true.”