Chelsea manager Frank Lampard has stressed that his decision to sell David Luiz to London rivals Arsenal wasn't a power play at Stamford Bridge, following suggestions that the Brazil international's exit was simply an attempt to flex his muscles.
The 32-year-old defender ended a six-year association with the club - split either side of a stint with Paris Saint-Germain - to join Arsenal in an £8m deal, signing a two-year contract to become Unai Emery's only new centre-back ahead of the new season.
It had been floating around that Luiz was axed after a disagreement with Chelsea's top brass, but Lampard insisted that selling the Brazil international to a top-six rival wasn't an attempt to stamp his authority on the side in west London.
"I watch how the players train, I watch how the players react in the dressing room, how the spirit is. And then I have to make decisions. And I have to try and create a squad that is in the image of what I want.
"And I wasn’t saying David wasn’t part of that, but I have to make lots of decisions every day and they are not all about trying to show power, they are just trying to do it my way because the last thing I want to do is look back on these times and go, ‘I wish I had done that differently and I didn’t quite do it’.
"These are decisions that I make daily. So, if it looks like that from the outside, it certainly wasn’t how I did it. It was purely football decisions on both sides."
Lampard added that he was happy with the depth he has been left with ahead of Chelsea's season opener against Manchester United on Sunday, with the likes of Antonio Rüdiger and Andreas Christensen being joined by a handful of returning loanees.
Source : 90min