Sunday, May 22, 2022

Chelsea Defender Gathering Interest From Spain: Can Tuchel Afford To Lose Him?

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Abhinab Ghosh
A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.

In a recent report, The Daily Star has stated that Chelsea defender Cesar Azpilicueta is gathering interest from Spain. It has been claimed that both Barcelona and Atletico Madrid are eyeing a move to recruit the Blues full-back whose contract at Stamford Bridge is set to run out at the end of this campaign.

Azpilicueta’s Impressive Campaign At The English Capital This Season

Azpilicueta has been a useful performer in Thomas Tuchel’s first-team during this campaign as he has put in a handful of dominant displays in English football. The Spanish talent has played in 27 matches for the West London club this season, picking up three assists and one yellow card in multiple competitions.

The 32-year-old has been a solid defender at the back based on his average of 2.4 tackles, 0.8 interceptions and 2.7 clearances per game in Premier League football. He has even taken care of the ball well when distributing it from the back, as evidenced by his pass success rate of 83.9% in the English top-flight (stats via whoscored).

Chelsea (Cesar Azpilicueta)
BRIGHTON, ENGLAND – JANUARY 18: Cesar Azpilicueta of Chelsea acknowledges fans after the Premier League match between Brighton & Hove Albion and Chelsea at American Express Community Stadium on January 18, 2022 in Brighton, England. (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)
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Can Chelsea Afford To Lose Azpilicueta Next Summer?

Azpilicueta remains one of the most dependable members of Tuchel’s starting XI. He has got a wealth of experience at the highest level and doesn’t mind producing a tireless shift for the benefit of his team.

The Spanish defensive ace can read the danger quickly and is proficient at timing his tackles well to earn possession back on the defensive end of the field. He doesn’t shy away from clearing the danger when needed and is a neat passer of the ball from the back.

At 32, Azpilicueta would believe that he has a few good years left in him to perform at a high level. Hence, it makes sense for the Blues to offer him a short-term contract because he has been nothing short of a great servant to the West London club. Furthermore, Azpilicueta is one of the best leaders in Tuchel‘s squad, so he could help get the best out of other younger Chelsea players in the coming seasons. All in all, the Blues cannot afford to let the Spaniard leave unless they manage to find a suitable replacement for him in the summer.

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