Chelsea defender may have to follow in legend’s footsteps for the rest of this season – opinion
Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta has certainly been handed a number of opportunities since he decided to commit his future to the club late in the summer transfer window.
After missing out on his dream move to Barcelona, Azpilicueta, professional as always, got back to work with the club he has won everything with.
There was no better an example of this than in the Blues’ last outing, with Graham Potter going with experience in his first game in charge of Chelsea.
However, the decision perhaps backfired as the Spaniard struggled with the pace of a young Salzburg team, who struck late to take an important point away from Stamford Bridge.
With big-money signings Wesley Fofana and Kalidou Koulibaly sat on the bench, it was hard to look at that game and justify the decision to start the club captain, especially in what became a fluid back four at times.
Time for Azpilicueta to step down
Both the new signings’ pace would have provided a far better answer for Salzburg’s attacks last week, and the result has left them an uphill battle to even qualify from their Champions League group.
In Antonio Conte’s league-winning season, club captain John Terry was forced to take a back seat and watch from the side as a new-look defence dominated the league.
David Luiz, Gary Cahill and Azpilicueta himself locked down those three roles back in the 16/17 campaign, and unfortunately for the Spain international the same fate could be awaiting him.
With Potter hopefully set to be given time to build his Chelsea team, it is surely likely that he will look to the future with someone like Fofana, who has been signed for big money and will expect immediate gametime.
Despite being a great servant for a decade now, it may be time to say goodbye to regular appearances for Azpilicueta.