Chelsea made a mistake not signing one of the £95million duo in Barcelona’s Sergino Dest or Inter Milan’s Denzel Dumfries during the summer.
What’s the word?
In the end, the club decided to stick with their options, but the journalist is adamant that is was a mistake from the Blues.
Speaking to GIVEMESPORT, the journalist said: “Big mistake really. Thomas Tuchel was asking for a new right-back for two summers and didn’t get one.
“We came quite close to signing Achraf Hakimi two summers ago, and last summer we looked at Sergino Dest and Denzel Dumfries, amongst others. But the club and Tuchel convinced Azpilicueta to stay and I’ve been vocal in saying this was a mistake, with respect to our club captain.”
A summer mistake
Azpilicueta may not be one of the first names on the team sheet anymore, but the Spanish stalwart is still a key figure in the Blues squad, having played a regular bit-part role with various cameos for Chelsea this season that have seen him included in five of Graham Potter’s seven games in charge.
Backed by the experience of nearly 500 games in SW6 across a span that stretches back a decade, the 33-year-old still offers a couple of key functions to Potter’s side, in the form of versatility and authority.
Wednesday night’s 0-0 draw against Brentford was an indicator of his use to Potter, with the Spaniard playing a key part in Chelsea’s clean sheet, having also completed the most passes in the match with 87.
Whilst there are certainly signs that Azpilicueta’s effect at this level is gradually dwindling, such as his sporadic starts, he is still an important figure and makes for an excellent utility option for the tactically flexible Potter, who has so far entrusted him as a central defender and right-back.
Dest, who is on loan at AC Milan and Dumfries, just down the road at Inter Milan would serve as viable options for Chelsea, but questions around whether either of the San Siro duo would want to play second-fiddle to Reece James, upon his return, is up for debate.
In Azpilicueta, Chelsea have a viable and versatile back-up option, so at this point, it does not appear to be a mistake for the side who have benefitted from his services this campaign.