'Very good': Former Chelsea attacker says £150k-a-week Blues star is so important within squad at Stamford Bridge
According to former teammate Willian, Cesar Azpilicueta is still a really important member of the Chelsea squad.
Former Chelsea attacker Willian, 34, is now back in the Premier League with Fulham. It’s the third different London club he’s played for in his career alongside Arsenal, but the majority of that time was the seven years at Stamford Bridge.
Azpilicueta, who earns £150,000-a-week, is the longest-serving member in the current Blues squad.
The 33-year-old defender’s won it all in Chelsea colours, but continues to get plenty of game time in a competitive group.
Azpilicueta is really important
Willian believes that Azpilicueta remains a “very good” player for Chelsea, as well as being majorly important when it comes to helping younger players.
Willian told The Athletic: “For me, when you talk about Chelsea, you just see Roman [Abramovich] and Marina [Granovskaia]. It’s been difficult for everyone inside the club. But this is where Cesar Azpilicueta will help. He is a very good player, an important one for the club. He’s been there for 10 years. With his experience, he can help the young players that play there at the moment.”
In fairness, there aren’t many better role models in the game to study closely than Azpilicueta.
The Blues club captain has carved out an excellent career for himself through so much hard work and an amazing attitude.
It’s quite telling that Willian feels ‘Azpi’ is still a key figure at Chelsea, albeit he’s a former teammate so there’s naturally going to be some bias.
Value on and off the pitch
Some Chelsea fans feel Azpilicueta’s age is creeping up with him, so would prefer him not to be in the starting XI every week.
The centre-back/right-back has already made seven appearances this season, including Graham Potter’s first game in charge.
There’s definitely enough talent in this squad that could see him drop down to the bench, though.
Even if the Spanish defender isn’t starting, what he does around the training pitches and in the dressing room is going to have a positive impact.
Chelsea’s long list of emerging young talents should be picking up all the tips of the trade from an elite professional.