Chelsea winter evaluation: The lopsidedness of the full backs

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chelsea, cesar azpilicueta

LONDON, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 05: Cesar Azpilicueta of Chelsea celebrates after scoring his team’s second goal during the UEFA Champions League group H match between Chelsea FC and AFC Ajax at Stamford Bridge on November 05, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

Chelsea is closer than not when it comes to their full back options. The main issue is they are much better set on one side than the other.

Full backs are the new center midfielders. They need to be capable of doing everything on and off the ball as well as players that specialize in it. There mistakes are often highlighted due to their nature and their contributions are often secondary to that of others. Chelsea has a solid enough corps of full backs to pick from, but going forward how will the club deal with the lopsidedness of their quality?

Cesar Azpilicueta, Spain

For at least the start of the last three seasons, Azpilicueta has started slowly. Starting slowly led to declarations of his demise. And then, like clockwork, Azpilicueta would settle back in and finish the season strongly. Of course, that never stopped his critics from sharpening their blades.

The captain is sure to stay at Chelsea for some time yet. While he may not be the archetypal full back of the modern era, he has proven again and again that he can still contribute.

Frank Lampard has even opted to return him, at times, to his old left back position. It shows the great deal of trust the manager has in his captain while also showing how far off the left back options are (more on that later).

Azpilicueta has competition now, yes, but nothing that will see him out of the frame any time soon.

Performance so far: Not his best work, but still better than any transfer alternative.

Will he return next season: Without a doubt. And probably the season after that. And after that. And after that.

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