When Chelsea signed Cesar Azpilicueta from Marseille last year there was an air of excitement that followed. Having Ashley Cole on the left, Azpilicueta on the right and a central option of John Terry, Branislav Ivanovic and Gary Cahill seemed as though it was a defence that would be beaten by few.
The Spaniard had a solid debut season under countryman Rafa Benitez, making 48 appearances over the entirety of last term. It seemed as though he had now established himself as the first choice right-back.
That was until Jose Mourinho came into the club and stifled his progress. He now finds himself on the sidelines waiting for either Ivanovic or Cole to make a mistake orpick up a niggle so he can get some game time.
Despite the difficult conditions he is working under, Dave – as he is known as at Stamford Bridge – is still performing admirably. He has made nine appearances overall this campaign and even chipped in with a goal.
Although three of his four Premier League appearances have been as a substitute so far, he has still made six tackles, plus another 10 in the Champions League, and a total of five interceptions.
He has also made seven clearances in his three appearances in Europe, which by my reckoning is pretty impressive.
Azpilicueta deserves his chance again this year, even if only because of his splendid form last time round.