Premier League heavyweights Chelsea endured a tough campaign last season - their worst campaign in the Roman Abramovich era.
They reached a new low when they registered themselves as the worst title defenders in the history of the competition.
Every department lacked creativity and confidence during the entirety of the season, and issues surrounding the club off the pitch made their fate even worse.
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With a new boss coming in this summer, the Blues are hopeful of overturning their fortunes as early as possible.
Cesar Azpilicueta is one of the players that received a fair share of criticism throughout last season. The Spaniard played the majority of Premier League games, in a defence that conceded 53 goals in total.
However, the defensive problems cannot be blamed upon the Spaniard alone, who has been brilliant in the previous years to say the least.
Arriving in the capital from Marseille in 2012, the full-back was hardly a familiar name across Europe and initially struggled to find his feet on English soil.
However, slowly but steadily, managers had the belief he could be the perfect player for the Chelsea mould.
Since the appointment of Jose Mourinho, Azpilicueta found himself switching to left-back with club veteran Ashley Cole in the twilight of his Chelsea career. The Portuguese tactician was a keen admirer of his qualities, often praising him for his work-rate on the pitch.
Various Facets Of His Game
A genuine hard-working individual, Azpilicueta will toil for the club for the entire game to ensure the team finishes the tie with a commendable clean-sheet.
With many among his peers at west London still undecided about their future at the club due to the unavailability of European football, the Spanish international has always reiterated his desire to remain at Stamford Bridge.
A solid, reliable, and consistent professional, Azpilicueta has succeeded in becoming one of the best defenders in the league over the last couple of years.
According to Sky Sports, despite having a horrid campaign with the Blues, Azpilicueta is still in demand among the heavyweight clubs across Europe.
La Liga giants like Barcelona and Atletico Madrid, as well as German champions Bayern Munich, are all queuing up for his signature.
Chelsea must rebuff any potential offers for the defender as Azpilicueta is a pivotal part of the squad, now, and for the future.
Phenomenal in one-on-one situations, the 26-year-old has developed tremendously in recent years, and offloading him at this juncture of his career wouldn't make sense.
Adaptability and Versatility
Into his prime at Stamford Bridge, Azpilicueta is unsure of what his role is going to be under Antonio Conte, but his versatility of playing on either side of the back-four would bring great dynamics to the squad.
The Italian boss prefers wing-backs with a three-man back line, and the Spanish ace could find himself more in midfield, tracking back to cover for the defence at times.
Azpilicueta has shown signs that he can adapt to different roles, and with him at the moment being one of the best left-backs in the world, it is a clear indication that he is willing to prove his worth within the team.
Despite a dismal showing last term, he managed laudable statistics for himself, averaging 3.2 tackles, 2.5 interceptions, 2.6 clearances, and a 81.4% pass success rate, as claimed by WhoScored.com.
Capable of joining the attack upfront, surging forward from either flanks, Azpilicueta is astute in his attributes. Deemed as the ideal player, he does exactly what his coach instructs him to do, giving his absolute best on each occasion.
He will inevitably return to form in the coming months, showcasing why he is regarded so highly across the continent.
Azpilicueta’s qualities are a rarity at present, so Chelsea must outright decline any offer for their talisman in defence.
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