Barcelona is pushing hard to buy Chelsea captain César Azpilicueta. Xavi has shown a lot of interest in the Spaniard and thinks that he could lead Barcelona’s defence next season. Azpilicueta signed for Chelsea in 2012. He has spent ten seasons at the club and has won a UEFA Champions League title, two English Premier League titles and two UEFA Europa League titles. The player carries a lot of experience with him. He is a versatile player who started his career as a right-back and can now play in the centre-back position. Xavi is already looking for a right-back, and Azpilicueta offers a lot in this position.
Last season, Azpilicueta made 44 appearances for Chelsea in all competitions. He made 27 appearances in the English Premier League and nine in the UEFA Champions League. The player scored three goals and provided three assists across all competitions. The above viz shows the pass start location and the threat created from passes at different time intervals in the English Premier League. Azpilicueta covered a lot of areas on the pitch and penetrated the opposition’s penalty box quite often. He averaged 1.7 touches per 90 minutes inside the opposition’s penalty box.
When looking at the above chart, the general rule is that the longer the bar, the better the performance — you can see the league average in the middle, and the % is the percentile rank the player is in. The above viz shows the passing stats of the player with the percentile rank in comparison to the other defenders in the league. The defender averaged 63.4 passes per 90 minutes with an accuracy rate of 86.83%. Most of the passes were forward passes, and this shows that the player is always ready to create chances from the back. The 32-year-old had one of the best passing stats amongst other defenders in the league.
The full-back made nine appearances in the UEFA Champions League. He scored and provided an assist in Chelsea’s run to the last eight teams in the competition. The stats are somewhat similar, but one thing that can be noticed is that Azpilicueta attempted fewer forward passes in the UCL. This was mainly because of the competition he was facing against him.
The full-back was involved in 10.8 defensive actions in the English Premier League with a success rate of 76.74%. The graph above depicts all of the duels that were won or ended in a tie for the player. Azpilicueta contested 6.15 defensive duels, 2.89 aerial duels and 3.5 loose ball duels per 90 minutes. He won 14.3% of defensive duels, 39.1% of aerial duels and 42.86% of loose ball duels. Azpilicueta had to do less defending as a result of his side’s dominance in the attack.
César Azpilicueta has a lot of experience playing football at the top level. The Spanish full-back can pass the ball well and create chances for his team. He can also play as a centre-back. Xavi is keen on bringing the experienced centre-back to Barcelona.