Chelsea manager Graham Potter could cause “outrage” if he continues to pick Cesar Azpilicueta over Wesley Fofana.
What’s the word?
That is according to journalist Simon Phillips, who has informed GIVEMESPORT of his thoughts about the 47-year-old’s starting XI against RB Salzburg in the Champions League last week.
With club captain Azpilicueta starting ahead of the summer signing, the journalist has issued a frank warning to Potter, with the decision bound to infuriate the Stamford Bridge faithful if it becomes a recurring theme this season.
Speaking to GIVEMESPORT, Phillips said: “I think purely because of the way Azpilicueta played in the last match, if he starts him over Fofana again, there’s going to be outrage.
“So I think it was purely a first game kind of thing where he went for experience. I think we will see Fofana come back in and other players as well.”
A decision that Potter could rue
With Chelsea having spent more than £250m in the most recent transfer window, Potter will surely feel the pressure if he is to deny the club’s most expensive summer signing regular game-time in favour of 33-year-old Azpilicueta.
It would seem quite a surprise if he is to overlook Fofana consistently this season, with the Frenchman possessing a profile which suits Potter’s progressive and rotational three-at-the-back setup.
The 21-year-old’s speed and agility at the back makes him a perfect fit as an overlapping centre-back, which would afford the likes of Reece James more freedom to attack without too much worry of tracking back in the first phase of the opponent’s counterattack.
This cannot be done in the same confidence with Azpilicueta, and his ability to recover the ball is not of the same ilk as Fofana, who averages 11.09 ball recoveries per game in comparison to the 33-year-old’s 7.61 per 90.
Despite many Chelsea supporters’ obvious love and appreciation for the long-serving Spaniard, they will surely want to see Fofana grow into becoming one of the top centre-backs in the league.
For that to happen, the youngster would need regular minutes and guidance. He would the latter in abundance, playing alongside veterans like Thiago Silva, Kalidou Koulibaly and Azpilicueta.
However, unless Potter switches things up and trusts in the 21-year-old, the first part of that equation might be harder to tick off.