‘Massive performance': Mason Mount very impressed by one of Chelsea's substitutes against Aston Villa
Mason Mount has praised Chelsea substitute Cesar Azpilicueta to the Evening Standard for his display against Aston Villa.
The Blues skipper was called upon at half-time after a shaky first half saw the club holding on.
They had Kepa Arrizabalaga to thank for going into half-time in the lead, with his incredible string of first half saves keeping Villa at bay.
At half-time, the Spain international was introduced, after the Raheem Sterling wing-back experiment failed to have the desired effect.
The introductions of Azpilicueta and fellow defender Kalidou Koulibaly certainly sured things up for Graham Potter’s side.
Mount praises Azpilicueta
Mount, who had scored both goals to pick up the three points, was complimentary of the captain, who has hardly enjoyed his best season at Stamford Bridge so far.
He said: “You know what Reecey brings. He has been absolutely brilliant this season. He stepped up and has been one of the best players in the team.
“To see that happen to him, as a very close friend of mine, is gutting to see. I was absolutely gutted for him. It is a big loss but we have to step up as players. You can see what Azpi came on and did today as a captain, he steps up and has a massive performance off the bench and that is what we need from all the players.”
Potter will be working hard in the next few days to work out a solution for the issue at right wing-back, with Reece James not being available for the rest of this year.
There are thoughts that Ruben Loftus-Cheek may continue his personal remontada with a spell in that role.
The natural midfielders ability to carry the ball forwards is perhaps the closest Chelsea have to James, although Azpilicueta’s showing yesterday will no doubt be firmly in Potter’s mind.