Last season under the ‘fat Spanish waitor’ Rafa Benitez, Cesar Aspilicueta was a key player at Chelsea. The Spaniard arrived from Marseille and slotted into the right-back berth with Branislav Ivanovic tucking inside to the central position next to Gary Cahill. However, fast forward to this season under Jose Mourinho and the defender has found himself out on his ear, having made only three league appearances, and reports from the Daily Star are suggesting that he could well be swooped for by Napoli, who themselves are under the guidance of Benitez.
But should they let him go? No, in my opinion, and here’s why.
Not only does the 24-year-old have the agility to make life difficult for attackers, but he’s also brilliant in the tackle. Azpilicueta won 57/69 attempted tackles last term, which is an impressive feat. He also held an 82% pass success, which serves him well in the Blues’ defence.
The biggest attribute for me is the way he bursts up the flanks and throws crosses into the box, and he did that brilliantly last season with 24 chances made. That’s more than any other Blues defender, and even more than Ramires.
This season he has played in 3/4 of Chelsea’s Champions League games and kept a clean sheet in all three, compared to the 2-1 loss the club suffered against Basel when he was not in the side.
Dave, as he is known to most in west London, is a fine player and offers Mourinho something different at right-back, and to see him go would be disheartening, for me.
Blues, deal or no deal?