Garth Crooks: This Chelsea player is top-class defender

The former Tottenham forward was impressed with the performance of Cesar Azpilicueta on Sunday afternoon

Garth Crooks heaped praise on Cesar Azpilicueta after Chelsea’s 4-0 win over Manchester United on Sunday.

The Spanish defender has been playing as part of three-man defence alongside Gary Cahill and David Luiz to great effect.

Chelsea have kept three clean sheets in a row to help Antonio Conte’s side hoist themselves into the Premier League’s top four.

Azpilicueta has played as a left-back, a right-back and a centre-half during his Chelsea career so far.

Former Tottenham forward Crooks lavished praise on the Spain international following Chelsea’s emphatic win against Jose Mourinho’s United side.

“This lad is a top-class defender. He has played left- and right-back for Chelsea and he is now occupying a central defensive position and doing so brilliantly,” Crooks told BBC Sport.

“The Blues have now achieved their fourth clean sheet of the season, and walloped Manchester United and their old boss Jose Mourinho in the bargain. It’s hardly surprising that Chelsea players are releasing pictures of themselves celebrating their victory in their dressing room on social media. Well, why wouldn’t you?”

Azpilicueta was signed in a £7m deal from Ligue 1 side Marseille in 2013 under Rafael Benitez.

The versatile Spanish defender has scored four goals in 192 appearances in all competitions for the west London side.

MORE: The latest Chelsea news and views

MORE: The latest Chelsea player tweets

Chelsea are a point behind Premier League leaders Manchester City, with Arsenal and Liverpool level on points with the Citizens.

Conte’s Blues side will make the trip to West Ham in the League Cup fourth round on Wednesday night.

Paul Merson
Paul Merson predicts the scoreline of Man United v Arsenal
Michael Owen
Michael Owen predicts outcome of Everton v Liverpool FC
Jadon Sancho
Jadon Sancho names Chelsea FC legends as his footballing idols
Paul Merson
Paul Merson predicts the scoreline of Everton v Liverpool FC
Paul Merson
Paul Merson states his prediction for Tottenham v Brentford
Paul Merson
Paul Merson predicts the scoreline of Man United v Arsenal
Michael Owen
Michael Owen predicts outcome of Everton v Liverpool FC
Jadon Sancho
Jadon Sancho names Chelsea FC legends as his footballing idols
Paul Merson
Paul Merson predicts the scoreline of Everton v Liverpool FC
Paul Merson
Paul Merson states his prediction for Tottenham v Brentford
Top 50 Muslim footballers: Arsenal, Chelsea FC, Liverpool FC and Man United stars feature
Top 50 Muslim footballers: Arsenal, Chelsea FC, Liverpool FC and Man United stars feature