Frank Lampard: Why I’ve been so impressed with Chelsea defender, he’s my player of the season

The former Chelsea defender singles out Cesar Azpilicueta for special praise

Frank Lampard has named Chelsea makeshift centre-half Cesar Azpilicueta as his player of the season.

The Spain international has once again shown his versatility with a series of commanding performances at centre-half alongside Gary Cahill and David Luiz as part of Chelsea’s back three throughout the 2016-17 title race.

Antonio Conte opted to switch to a 3-4-3 formation following successive Premier League losses to title rivals Arsenal and Liverpool in September.

The tactical switch prompted a 13-game winning run before a 2-0 loss at Tottenham Hotspur earlier this month, although Chelsea have eased to victories over Leicester City and Hull City since that White Hart Lane setback.

Azpilicueta has helped Chelsea keep a remarkable 13 clean sheets in 21 games in the Premier League this season as Conte boasts the meanest defence in the top flight.

Speaking to The Daily Mail ahead of Chelsea’s trip to Liverpool in the Premier League next weekend, Lampard explained why Azpilicueta is his player of the season.

“Don’t forget [Cesar] Azpilicueta. He’s been brilliant,” Lampard said.

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“Costa and Hazard get the limelight but he’s basically a right back and a centre half. He is tailor-made for that role. He’s probably been player of the season.”

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