Despite a dreadful 2017-18 season under Antonio Conte, Chelsea have once again emerged as a potential title contender under new boss Maurizio Sarri’s tutelage. But the fans have now one more reason to cheer as their skipper Cesar Azpilicueta has committed his future at Stamford Bridge penning a new four-year deal as confirmed via club’s official website.
The long-serving Spaniard completed a low-key £7m switch from Marseille back in the summer of 2012 and soon established himself as a reliable figure in Chelsea backline. He is only a couple of games away from making 300 appearances for the West London giants – a feat achieved by only six overseas resources so far.
Azpilcueta, 29, has been underrated all throughout yet performed persistently in multiple defensive roles with great composure and commitment. He started as a right fullback but also featured down the left as well as in a central defensive role. His fitness is exemplary as he set a new record playing every minute of the Blues’ 2016-17 Premier League winning campaign.
The Spanish international was key as a right centre-back in Conte’s ‘back three’ and also made his presence known when deployed as a right wingback. Such flexibility is adored by all and the player, therefore, enjoyed years of success under various managers.
“since I came, I felt the joy and responsibility to play for this club, these fans, and every time I go on the pitch I try to do my best. Hopefully, there is a lot to come and we can keep Chelsea where it belongs.”
Stated Azpilicueta who was understandably delighted and vowed to conquer many more having already grabbed the Premier League title twice along with League Cup, FA Cup and Europa League once each.
Sarri, meanwhile, has utilized him as an outright right-back this season. The ex-Osasuna star has not only showcased great defensive resilience but also offered timely overlapping runs to whip in menacing crosses inside the box. He is now likely to continue the same for years to come and his presence at the back must be a massive boost for the Blues who have been a bit vulnerable at times.