Analysis

Azpilicueta: Working to improve and Pulisic's talent

Cesar Azpilicueta believes a Chelsea target for the season is still within reach, and the defender has praised the addition of Christian Pulisic, who will join up with the squad for pre-season.

It was announced yesterday that we had agreed a deal with Borussia Dortmund for the permanent transfer of 20-year-old attacker Pulisic, who will spend the remainder of this campaign on loan with the German club, before making the switch to London in the summer.

American-born Pulisic has shown his quality over the last few seasons in the Bundesliga, and Azpilicueta is delighted we have secured the services of a player who can operate out wide or behind the striker.

‘Chelsea is a top club and the competition is very high,’ said the Spaniard. ‘At every moment we need to get results and perform.

‘That has been the case for a long time at Chelsea and it will always be the same, so obviously I’m very happy we’ve signed Pulisic.

‘He’s a young player, very talented. He will come in the summer so for the next six months he will be with Borussia but I’m happy we’ve got a young player and hopefully he can be very good for us.’
 

Azpilicueta started for the Blues in last night’s 0-0 draw against Southampton at Stamford Bridge, a game in which we were frustrated in front of goal. At present, the team are struggling to score as freely as we did in the early part of the campaign.

‘Of course it’s frustrating not to score in two consecutive games at home,’ he said. ‘It’s difficult, it was 0-0 and obviously we wanted the three points. We were not able to do it so obviously we are frustrated.

‘It’s not easy but I think we did good movements with and without the ball to get into the last 30 or 35 metres, but we were not able to find the right space, the right pass, and obviously as the game goes on it becomes more frustrating and sometimes we try to do something even more difficult. As time goes on the other team grows in confidence and we are not able to break the line.

‘First of all our approach is the same, which is to win the game from the first minute, nothing has changed in that part. The line between winning and losing is very thin. Sometimes maybe in the first few games we arrived [on goal] less times but we were more efficient and scored goals. At the moment, maybe when we get the chances we don’t put them in the net and sometimes that’s the difference.

‘Obviously we will work to improve because we need to score goals and to keep not conceding, because if we mix the defensive work and scoring goals we will be getting points for sure.’

Despite the disappointment of last night’s draw, we remain fourth in the Premier League table, three points ahead of fifth-placed Arsenal and well placed to qualify for next season’s Champions League.

‘After last season when we missed out on the Champions League, this season the minimum is to be in the top four,’ Azpilicueta explained. ‘It’s still a long time between now and May and sometimes in the season you go through better periods or worse periods.

‘At the moment, when you don’t win a game at home the feeling is not positive but we need to learn from it. We cannot change the result now but we can work on improving. We still have a lot of games to play and we can still reach our target.’

 

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