Three Chelsea players have been brilliant this season, but haven't got enough credit - TCC view
Chelsea have made it to the international break as Premier League table toppers.
A swashbuckling start to the season hit a small snag but was quickly rectified at the expense of Southampton.
16 points from a possible 21, only three goals conceded and 15 scored: Thomas Tuchel is sitting pretty right now.
His group have continued on from the previous campaign, ensuring the after-glow from their Champions League success remained warm.
Of course, some individual influences stand out above others.
Romelu Lukaku’s impact upon arrival was instant, although the honeymoon period has seemingly been snuffed out.
Antonio Rudiger is earning rave reviews across the board, alongside Marcos Alonso.
Mateo Kovacic has been collecting the credit his quality deserves.
But who are the Chelsea players that have gone largely unnoticed compared to their heralded colleagues?
Here are three members of Tuchel’s squad we’d like to call ‘unsung heroes’:
Is there a more suitable individual to earn the badge of ‘unsung’ or ‘hero’?
Cesar Azpilicueta is a shining example to any aspiring footballer, defender or not.
Consistent to the epitome of the word; versatile beyond belief; a leader of men.
Everything a club of Chelsea’s stature needs in a captain.
But what’s perhaps most endearing about Azpilicueta is that he never demands the spotlight, even if he is still one of the Blues most influential and important components.
The Spaniard is yet to miss a league game this season. In fact, his only absence at all was in the Carabao Cup win over Aston Villa.
Eight starts out of 11 outings demonstrates the skipper’s durability.
What’s not spoken about enough – which is why he is on the list – is Azpilicueta’s creativity.
He has provided three assists this term; no Chelsea player has managed more.
His most important was the cross onto Lukaku’s head in the narrow European win over Zenit St Petersburg.
Thank you, Cesar!
Whilst Azpilicueta does a great job at staying clear of the headlines, Timo Werner can’t seem to get away from them.
Sometimes avoidable, other times self-inflicted.
But this section isn’t about degrading the German; he’s faced that enough since landing in England.
Here, we want to praise the centre-forward’s contributions where others probably overlook them.
Two goals and one assist from eight fixtures may not win any prizes, but it’s certainly helped Chelsea win matches.
Had he not netted against Villa, the Blues might not be involved in the League Cup still.
Equally, had Werner failed to convert in the victory over Southampton, Tuchel’s men could have relinquished first place in the league.
And let’s not forget his tireless work off the ball.
It is definitely difficult to overlook Edouard Mendy, considering the Senegalese’s mighty presence between the sticks.
But sometimes it’s easy to forget the crucial saves he made at vital moments across 90 minutes.
Take the Aston Villa triumph in the league for example.
Mendy made a handful of excellent denials, including a double save in the first half, to keep Chelsea in front.
He was also immense away to Liverpool when the Blues needed their number one the most.
Manchester City might have run away with the tie had the gloved 29-year-old not been fully charged.