Chelsea supporters have been reasonably satisfied in recent times after seeing their team maintain their unbeaten start to the Premier League season at the weekend.
Maurizio Sarri’s men went into their clash with early pace-setters Liverpool having beaten the Reds in the Carabao Cup earlier in the week, yet seeking to get back to winning ways in the Premier League after drawing 0-0 at West Ham in their previous league encounter. And they looked on course for all three points when Eden Hazard gave them the lead, only for ex-striker Daniel Sturridge to come back and haunt his former employers with a great strike late on to secure a 1-1 draw for Jurgen Klopp’s side.
Nevertheless, there have been many satisfied Chelsea fans up and down the country in recent times, several of whom have taken some time out to look back at their club’s transfer decisions in recent years, what with Sturridge returning to Stamford Bridge to net the leveller for Liverpool at the weekend.
And while the Blues have made some big-money signings during their time under owner Roman Abramovich, arguably their most successful and most impressive addition came in the form of defender Cesar Azpilicueta, who cost the West Londoners a mere £7.92 million (as per Transfermarkt) back in 2012.
Ultimately, very few were aware of the 29-year-old and his capabilities when he made the move to Stamford Bridge six years ago, with his arrival likely to have gone under the radar given they signed Hazard and Oscar that summer.
Nonetheless, the Spain international has since gone on to become one of Chelsea’s best and most impressive performers during his time in English football, with the versatile ace appearing 290 times for the club in the last six years, scoring six goals and laying on 35 assists.
And while he didn’t immediately command regular football at Stamford Bridge in his first few years at the club, Azpilicueta consistently produced high-level performances when called upon by several different Chelsea managers, be it at right back, left back, and even recently at centre back.
In fact, the 29-year-old has missed just two Premier League games in the last three full seasons at the club to underline his ability to continuously produce the goods but also stay away from injuries – and in that time he has played left back, right back, left wing back, right wing back, and indeed at centre back.
Be it as part of Antonio Conte’s brilliant back three that helped the Blues win the title in 2017, or indeed down the right hand side under Sarri now, Azpilicueta continues to shine whenever he takes to the field for the Blues – the amount of below-par displays from the Spaniard during his time at Stamford Bridge can be counted on one hand.
And in winning two Premier League titles, the FA Cup, the League Cup, and indeed the Europa League, the 29-year-old has also played his part in a hugely successful era under Abramovich, and one that doesn’t look like letting up anytime soon.
Thus, for all the big money moves Chelsea have pulled off since the Russian took over the club 15 years ago, sealing a bargain deal for Azpilicueta will go down as one of the most incredible masterstrokes pulled off by the Blues hierarchy.
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