Last week, Chelsea defender Cesar Azpilicueta spoke with The Telegraph about his changing role at the club and how he’s always pushing in training to earn more minutes on the field.
The Spaniard has been a superb servant to the Blues since he signed back in 2012 for £6.5 million, but of late the full-back has seen his game time diminish with the emergence of positional rival Reece James.
The 31-year-old star may have lost his regular right-back position to the English talent, but the skipper has not lost any of his professionalism, saying:
“You know, I push and I train hard to get as many minutes as possible when the manager needs me to be ready for him, but you know when I’m out I try to help from the stands.”
Cesar’s efforts in training have not gone without reward as manager Frank Lampard continues to utilise his experience.
He has appeared nine times this season for the Blues and started versus Rennes as Chelsea qualified for the last 16 in the UEFA Champions League.
Amassing 276 top-flight appearances as a Chelsea player is no mean feat and the all-around defender isn’t finished yet.
Capable of playing as a left-back, centrally or in his more natural right-back position, Cesar still has plenty to give as part of Frank’s squad, although his days as the undisputed first-choice full-back could be behind Cesar owing to the form of his younger counterpart.
For certain fixtures, the experience and nous of the player could be invaluable.
It’s unlikely that the Blues will dominate the ball in every match, and there will be days when his defensive insight could be more suitable to Lampard’s plans than Reece’s attacking prowess.