Thomas Tuchel praised Cesar Azpilicueta’s leadership qualities as he compared the defender with former Chelsea leaders John Terry and Frank Lampard.

The 31-year-old has seen himself back playing regularly under the new manager, having previously fallen in the pecking order under Frank Lampard.

He is one of several Chelsea players who has featured in each of the five Premier League games under Tuchel so far.

It is easy to see why Tuchel has so much faith in the veteran defender.

With the 3-4-3 now becoming the main structure, Azpilicueta thrives on the right of the back three — the same role he played under Antonio Conte.

However, the defender’s familiarity with the role might not be the sole reason why Tuchel has reinstated him into the team.

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“I strongly believe in the power of captains in football teams,” Tuchel told Chelsea TV.

“I had the pleasure to have Thiago Silva as my captain in Paris, together with Marquinhos, and now I have Azpi, Thiago, Jorginho and [N’Golo] Kante [at Chelsea].

“You cannot wish for more.

Chelsea v Ipswich Town - FA Cup 3rd Round
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“When I watch Chelsea on TV, like Frank Lampard, like John Terry, Azpi was the guy that makes total sense that he plays in blue and is the captain — it’s logic.

“He resembles everything that I personally [relate] to Chelsea; humble, giving 100 percent every game regardless of the opponents — he [will] just be there and be professional.

“I can only say from my heart, it is what you can wish for when you become a coach, to have captains like this — this is a real pleasure.”

West Bromwich Albion v Chelsea - Premier League
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Chronicle view

Considering the number of young players in his squad, it is obvious why Tuchel relies on these experienced players to lead the team on the pitch.

The old spine of Terry, Lampard, Petr Cech, Didier Drogba, and Ashley Cole was an important part of Chelsea’s success in Roman Abramovich’s era — and is arguably what has been missed in the last few years.

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