Garth Crooks raves about Chelsea FC defender Cesar Azpilicueta
BBC Sport pundit Garth Crooks says Chelsea FC defender Cesar Apzilicueta is playing with authority again
Cesar Azpilicueta has rediscovered his mojo playing in the Chelsea FC defence under Thomas Tuchel, according to BBC Sport pundit Garth Crooks.
The Spanish defender has played a key role in the Chelsea FC back four since Tuchel took over the reins of the west London side from Frank Lampard at the start of the year.
Azpilicueta struggled to play regular first-team football under Lampard after the Blues legend preferred to use promising England international Reece James.
The 31-year-old has been vital in Chelsea FC’s run of clean sheets over the past few months to help rekindle their hopes of securing a top-four finish this term.
Azpilicueta produced a mature performance in Chelsea FC’s 1-0 win over West Ham United on Saturday evening as Timo Werner scored a crucial winner for Tuchel’s men.
BBC Sport pundit Crooks heaped praise on Apzilicueta for his recent return to his title-winning form.
“This is a new mean Chelsea we are seeing these days who seem to have ironed out their errors at the back without stifling their full-backs and their freedom to attack,” Crooks told BBC Sport.
“Azpilicueta has found his mojo again and is playing with the kind of authority he had when Chelsea lifted the title under Antonio Conte.
“The Chelsea captain showed great experience when the ball ricocheted off his chest on to his arm but the defender did well to keep his arm by his side so as not to give away a penalty.
“The Spaniard has been an outstanding servant for Chelsea and the perfect player in my view to take Chelsea through this transitional period under Thomas Tuchel.”
Azpilicueta has scored one goal and has made one assist in 22 games in the Premier League this term.
The Spanish defender has made 34 appearances across all competitions in the 2020-21 campaign ahead of Tuesday night’s clash against Real Madrid in the Champions League last four.
Chelsea FC will host Fulham in the west London derby at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.