In Focus: Azpilicueta more important to Chelsea than Costa, Hazard

Chelsea defender Cesar Azpilicueta is of interest to Barcelona this summer as they hunt for a new right-back and, while he is said to be happy in London, would be open to the idea of a move back to Spain, according to Sport

What’s the word?

Well, the Blaugrana have been strongly linked with a move for Arsenal defender Hector Bellerin in recent months, though are understood to have identified the Blues ace as a potential alternative.

Crucial to Antonio Conte’s table-topping side this season, the Spanish international is able to operate across the backline and could provide an heir at last for the dear departed Dani Alves.

As previously mentioned, the report claims the former Marseille man is happy with life in the Big Smoke, though would reportedly be open to the idea of returning to his homeland.

How big a miss would he be?

The notion of Azpilicueta leaving should be a major worry to Chelsea fans around the world. Such is the nature of his ability to slot in anywhere, the 27-year-old is undoubtedly one of Europe’s elite defenders and would be nigh on impossible to replace.

As is evident in the infographic above, his importance to the Blues’ cause cannot be understated and there’s even an argument to suggest he’d be harder to replace than either Diego Costa or Eden Hazard.