Oscar, Eden Hazard, Willian even Fernando Torres.
Those are the names which will be spoken about in pubs and stadiums after the festive period of fixtures when it comes to Chelsea FC, and so they should be.
There is however one name that needs to be spoken about an awful lot more – and it is a bit of a tongue twister.
Cesar Azpilicueta – or Dave as both Chelsea fans and players call him – has been a rock at the back this season.
The Spaniard has produced tackles, passes, breaking forward, interceptions, assists, attitude and all round work ethic. That is no exaggeration, and there are few more superlatives that can sum up how good the player has been, especially over the festive fixtures.
Pretty much anything you would look for in every top player Azpi has produced. Under the Interim One, he became a fixture in the Chelsea side, yet seemed to have suffered the curse of the Spaniard under the Special One, missing out for the first part of the second coming.
All that changed with the injury to Ashley Cole, and Azpi found himself playing out of position on the opposing flank. They say a chance is what you make of it, and unlike compatriot Juan Mata, the right back certainly did that.
Now about as untouchable as John Terry, Azpi is an ever present in the side and one of the first names on the team sheet. An unsung hero yes, but certainly one that Jose Mourinho appreciates.
With a switch to his natural position showcasing his talent even further, the question of just what to do with the player once the injured Branislav Ivanovic comes back has arisen. If Mourinho stays true to his word, and actually plays people on form, Azpi has to remain in the team.
Smart money would likely be on it being at the expense of Arsenal Christmas party attendee Ashley Cole, who despite still being one of the best in the business when it comes to last ditch challenges can, on occasion, be skipped past a little bit too easily these days, as Southampton showed at times.
At 24 years old, Cesar Azpilicueta is the future at Chelsea – and is already a proven winner.
Most Chelsea fans would happily forget he embarrassment of winning the Europa League last term, which the Spaniard was pivotal in, but the fact that he has also won four major titles with Marseilles and comes from the golden generation of Spanish International players is something to relish.
Working his way up through the Spanish youth sides, he has amassed 55 junior caps, represented the Under 21’s in two European Championships and was part of the 2011 winning side, making his ‘dream come true’ by representing the senior side in 2013.
The boy has pedigree and is a born winner. Chelsea fans will be hoping that is something which only becomes more prominent over the next few years.
What are your thoughts on the right back? Let us know your thoughts below, or tweet us @LaFootyettes.
9 years ago
A great analysis of “our Dave” who is fast proving to be an unsung hero at the Bridge. No fuss, nothing flash but solid, dependable and very watchable!!