The man known simply as ‘Dave’ around West London, due to the rather complex pronunciation of his surname, has earned himself a new bumper contract at Premier League leaders Chelsea.
I am, of course, talking about Spanish international defender Cesar Azpilicueta who has signed a new five-year deal at Stamford Bridge after a breakout season in 2013-14. The versatile defender, who kept Ashley Cole out of the team at left back and also shone in his natural position of right back, arrived at Chelsea from Marseille in 2012 and has made 95 appearances for the Blues.
Azpilicueta, 25, was named Chelsea’s Players’ Player of the Year for the 2013-14 season as his contribution to the meanest defense in the PL didn’t go unnoticed.
He is a true unsung hero, as his endless running, covering, tracking back and well-timed tackles are often overlooked due to Chelsea’s rich array of attacking options.
Make no mistake about it, Dave is a key player for the Blues.
With a back four of Azpilicueta, John Terry, Gary Cahill and Branislav Ivanovic this season, Chelsea look sturdy in defense but somehow shipped three goals away at Everton last weekend in their 6-3 victory. That annoyed Jose Mourinho but his sides’ defense will bail him out more often than not this campaign. Azpilicueta’s form at left back has kept new signing Filipe Luis out of the team, as the Atletico Madrid left back has yet to start a game in the PL.
After this new long-term deal and on current from, Azpilicueta’s complicated name will continue to be one of the first on the teamsheet for Mourinho each week.