Originally written August 23, 2012 on O-Posts:
Reports in France suggest that an agreement was meet on a transfer fee between Marseille and Champions League holders Chelsea for right back Cesar Azpilicueta. Chelsea had been tracking Azpilicueta for the majority of last season and raised their interest on hearing that Azpilicueta had not been included in the squad for Marseille’s Europa League match versus FC Sheriff Tiraspol. Marseille have recently indicated this Summer that they were going to reduce the wage bill by selling some of their key players. Alou Diarra was the only recognised departure but the club expressed that key members of squad such as Stephane Mbia, Andre Ayew and Cesar Azilicueta would also leave. “If my departure can help Marseille’s finances, then it is a good deal for everyone concerned.” – Cesar Azpilicueta. The deal is worth to be near £8 million for the 22 year old. The transfer will take Chelsea’s spending up to £70 million this Summer following the signings of Marko Marin, Eden Hazard and Oscar. Cesar will increase the options in the right back position for the Blues. The first choice right back is Ivanovic who actually played 14 of his 26 appearances in centre back due to injuries and suspensions so it is clear that cover is needed. Ivanovic will be difficult to dismantle from his starting berth after having an eventful start to the season that includes two goals and a red card in the Community Shield. Azilicueta is yet another example of an modern attacking full back (see Alexander Buttner: A lowdown on Manchester United’s latest signing for more) and he played in Spain’s disappointing Olympic campaign which lead to knockout at the group stages. It was more of a case of the forwards not living up to their expectation as Cesar was part of the Spanish backline that only conceded two goals in three games. Cesar Azilicueta made his Champions League debut with Marseille against Spartak Moscow and has improved his game considerably in Ligue 1 leading him in contention for the Spanish national team squad. Cesar understandably feels loyalty to Marseille who supported him through injury when the Spaniard ruptured anterior cruciate ligaments in his knee. – “My thoughts are split between Marseille and Chelsea”. Azilicueta began his career at Osasuna beginning as an attacking midfielder but moving to full back due to injury crisis at the club. And the rest as they say is history. A regular at Osasuna at only 18 years of age. A Basque native, he thrives on aggressive football but complements his passion on the field with his ball skills and intelligence in forward positions. Surprisingly Cesar established as a right back despite favouring his left foot. Cesar Azilicueta will look to gain a starting position at Chelsea and improve Chelsea’s 1.21 goals against average last season and improve on last seasons sixth place finish. If he can follow in the footsteps of fellow Spaniard Juan Mata debut season which included the FA Cup and Champions League double then Chelsea could have a real talent in a rejuvenated side.   Written by Daire Kilkelly Follow me on Twitter @DaireKilkelly1 Please like O-Posts on Facebook Follow the site on Twitter @OPosts
PLAYERS: Alou DiarraJuan Mata
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