The Left-Back Tussle
Chelsea are having a really good season in the Premier League and it’s because of the crafting team chemistry the Blues posses. The Special One has changed things in his second year of the second term at the Bridge. The credit goes to Mourinho’s trust over his squad and the way he uses his players.
The squad selection for Chelsea has been nip and tight. Only one major change that we mainly observe in the squad selection is the tight Left Back Spot which is either occupied by the young defensive minded Cesar Azpilicueta and the other contender being the flashy and quick Felipe Luis. However, the clear winner amongst them seems to be Cesar Azpilicueta most of the times.
Cesar Azpilicueta joined Chelsea in the summer of 2012 from Olympique Marseille for a mere cost projected around 7 million Euros and he has been a total bang for the buck. Azpilicueta was a very ordinary defender and was just purchased as a backup to Branislav Ivanovic and Ashley Cole. Surprisingly, he has muzzled the doubters.
However, last season he dethroned Cole from the left back position which Cole ruled for more than eight years for Chelsea. Cesar Azpilicueta, a predominantly right-click player was pushed to play as a left back last season by Mourinho in lieu of Ashley Cole’s injury and since then Dave has played as a left back more comfortably than ever.
While, Felipe Luis joined Chelsea this season on a three-year deal for a whopping 15 million Euros, the Brazilian provides the Blues squad with more of an attacking option in the left flank. However, the major threat for Felipe Luis is that Ivanovic is doing great and providing Chelsea with the extra attacking option and even the left wing has the dominating presence of Eden Hazard. So, Azpilicueta wins the race in the team selection.
Apart from the on paper talks, Azpilicueta’s stats are better as compared to Felipe Luis. According to squawka.com, Azpilicueta has a total score of 55.63 in both Premier League and Champions League competition whereas; Luis has a total score of 39.12 in both the competitions. As we mentioned above, Luis is a better attacker and his Attack score in squawka.com is 7.5 and Azpilicueta’s score is around 6.
Another great advantage that Azpilicueta brings to the table is his phenomenal defending and intersecting the crosses. His defense score in squawka.com ranges around 37.86 which is very high as compared to Luis’ defense score of 22.30. Azpilicueta tips Luis with a total forward pass per match also. Azpilicueta manages around 25.4 forward passes per match as compared to Luis’ 22.6 passes per match. Also, Azpilicueta beats Luis in number of assists in both the leagues with 3 crucial assists to none by Luis. Luis trails behind Azpilicueta in the pass completion ratio as well.
In conclusion, I would like to only mention that Azpilicueta tops his Brazilian left back counterpart in all the defensive areas. He is pipped slightly on the offensive side of things, but he still offers enough in final third to suggest that he is more than capable of getting up and down the flank.
Chelsea needs him to do that given the few number of wingers in Mourinho’s books. He can be expected to continue doing his bit for the collective cause after earning a reputation as one of the finest and most reliable operators in the English top-flight.
However, we wish both our full backs all the best wishes in their journey with 110 years old club.
If you want to write articles & share your views with your fellow Blues, contact us at – firstname.lastname@example.org
Edited By: Harshal Ahire