Date: 4th February 2019 at 9:55am
Written by:

The signing of Cesar Azpilicueta is arguably the bargain of the century, however despite all his qualities, the harsh reality is that he’s just not quite suited to Sarriball. 

Having signed from Marseille in 2012 for just £7 million, Azpilicueta or Dave as he is more affectionately known, became a key part of the first team. 

His versatility and consistency endeared him to each manager that he has played under.

Jose Mourinho used him as a left back to provide the defensive cover needed to allow Eden Hazard to roam freely. 

used him as part of his three man defence that changed the outlook of many teams. 

In both positions, Azpilicueta was fantastic, always delivering a consistent performance. 

After just six full seasons, Azpilicueta has won the Europa League, League Cup, two FA Cups and two Premier League titles. 

However, under Sarri, his return to his natural right back position has seen him struggle to hit the consistent levels we know he’s capable of.

And that’s not saying that Azpilicueta has been poor, because for the main part he’s been solid.

But solid isn’t good enough anymore. To challenge in the toughest Premier League era you need the best in every position.

Sarri’s needs full back who can get up and down the pitch all game long and full backs who can also provide an end product, something which Azpilicueta has struggled with.

When realised his fullbacks weren’t able to adapt to his style, went out and spent £100m on new ones, who we’ll face on Sunday in a match against City that online betting markets have us as big outsiders for.

Sarri may not be able to do that, but he does need to find a solution to his full back problems. 

Taking a look at academy player, Reece James, currently on loan at Wigan, wouldn’t be the worst idea in the world.

James has been the stand out player for Wigan this season despite his young age and has been able to play both right back and central midfield with ease.

Look what have done, seemingly stumbling uponTrent Alexander-Arnold. We could have a similar situation here but we’ll never know if we never try.

There’s also other questions being asked about the legitimacy of Azpilicueta’s captaincy.

After the inquest into Chelsea’s 4-0 thrashing at the hands of Bournemouth, questions were being asked about who was in the dressing room letting the players know what for. 

Would it have been Mr Nice Guy Azpi? Unlikely. Especially given his poor performance on the night. 

At fault for the third goal and a string of wasted opportunities down the right.

Can you look your teammates in the eye and question them when you yourself have questions to answer?

It sounds harsh, especially considering how good of a servant Azpilicueta has been for us.

It’s kind of like when you start to have that conversation about when to put the family dog down, but sometimes you need to look at the bigger picture. 

This summer will be one of massive change for Chelsea, and some tough decisions will have to be made.

And there’s no room for sentiment in football anymore.