Chelsea star ready to rival Ashley Cole for left-back role

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Cesar Azpilicueta is desperate to keep Ashley Cole out of the Chelsea team by becoming the west London side's first choice left-back.

The 24-year-old has started Chelsea's last two games at left-back - despite predominately being a right-back.

Cole was made to watch proceedings for Chelsea's games against Schalke and West Brom from the substitutes' bench, as the 32-year-old was dropped after his poor performance against Newcastle.

And Azpilicueta, who had been used sparingly under Jose Mourinho until recently, is keen on holding down the left-back slot on a full-time basis.

Azpilicueta, speaking to the Daily Star, said on his recent performances: "Every time I have more minutes, I feel better.

"Provided I can play and be useful to the team, I'd be delighted to stay on the left for the whole season."

Mourinho recently stated that Cole was still very much in his plans - but that he needed 'to work hard' in order to get back into his starting line-up.

Cole is also facing competition on the international front, as both Leighton Baines and Kieran Gibbs are competing with the Chelsea star to become the Three Lions' first choice left-back - in time for next summer's World Cup.

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