Cesar Azpilicueta

Cesar Azpilicueta
Image from: freelargeimages.com

Cesar Azpilicueta Tanco

Current Club: Chelsea.

Previous Clubs: Olympique Marseille, Osasuna.

Loan Clubs: N/A.

International: Spain 25 caps.

Trophies Won: English Premier League 2014/15, 2016/17. FA Cup 2018, English League Cup 2015, French League Cup 2010/11, 2011/12. Europa League 2012/13, 2018/19, European Under-19 Championships 2007, French Super Cup 2010/11.

Chelsea's club captain is 30 years old and has become a bit of a victim of his own utility. Arriving at Stamford Bridge as an exceptional defensive right-back, though not the best offensively, he has probably played more often at left-back and the right-sided centre-back in a back three more often than his natural position.

It is to his credit that 'Dave', as he is affectionately known, is able to play those positions so well that there is an argument now over which position best suits him. With an exceptional positional sense, the defensive side of those three roles are all natural to him.

Going forward Azpilicueta links up well, is very technically adept and good at the quick pass and move kind of play to provide good attacking support down the flank. However, his big weakness is delivering crosses, which is why he can often be more of a threat on the left, where having the ball on his weaker foot means he looks to link up rather than cross more often than not.

At centre-half his positioning is excellent, his lack of pace is not exposed so much and he is rarely caught one-on-one without cover. Dave's weakness in the centre is in the air, where he is not the greatest for a centre-back, though good for a full-back.

Overall Azpilicueta's problem is that he is no longer outstanding in any position, though very good in all. At full-back his lack of quality delivery, added to his lack of real pace, means he is not as big of an attacking threat as is usually needed in the modern game.

Defensively his game is no longer as strong as it once was, his lack of pace is often exposed and teams seem to find it easier to expose him one-on-one or even overload his flanks, with a lack of protection leaving him unable to be as adept at shutting down opposing wingers as he once was. Unfortunately for Azpilicueta, his game is perfectly adapted to play the old-style supporting full-back and the team's set up requires a modern-style wing-back.

Lacking the physical attributes to get up and down the wing for 90 minutes, it leaves a once-great player looking like an average player out of his depth. Unless Chelsea intend to alter their tactics to better utilise his skillset, he is destined to become a valuable back up player, rather than the first choice player he once was.

Requested by - KTBFFH