Britain Football Soccer - Liverpool v Chelsea - Premier League - Anfield - 31/1/17 Chelsea's David Luiz celebrates scoring their first goal with manager Antonio Conte Reuters / Phil Noble Livepic EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 45 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.

By Dominic Toner

Jamie Carragher believes that Chelsea defender David Luiz is in the same bracket as Tottenham duo Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen.

The Spurs pairing are regarded as two of the best centre-backs in the Premier League and the Belgians have formed a strong centre-back partnership in the past couple of seasons.

Mauricio Pochettino’s side have conceded just 16 goals in the Premier League this season and the two centre-backs are crucial to their success.

Meanwhile, current league leaders Chelsea have all been in strong form defensively and match the tally of 16 goals conceded so far this campaign.

Carragher feels that Luiz has been at the heart of the Blues’ success and the centre-back deserves a lot of credit.

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“Last season I regarded Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen as the best central defenders in the Premier League but such has been Chelsea’s defensive improvement — both teams have conceded only 16 goals — you have to put Luiz right up there,” Carragher wrote in his Mail column.

Spurs’ duo have often been used in a back four and worked so effectively for Pochettino’s side, but have also enjoyed successw this season in a three-man defence alongside Eric Dier.

They have managed to be extremely resolute this campaign and helped the north London club up to second in the Premier League table.

Antonio Conte has enjoyed a remarkable turnaround at Stamford Bridge and taken them nine points clear at the top of the league.

Luiz decided to re-join Chelsea in the summer and he has been paramount to their defence, being a permanent feature in the three-man backline alongside Cesar Azpilicueta and Gary Cahill.

The 29-year-old has managed to improve his game dramatically since his first spell in England and people believe he has been one of Chelsea’s most crucial players this season.

In other Tottenham news, Tim Sherwood claims that the club’s academy ace is an acquired taste.

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