Thomas Tuchel has heaped praise on Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta, after the Spaniard recently clocked up 300 Premier League appearances for the Blues.

Speaking to The 5th Stand app last week, our German head coach was asked about the influence Azpi has had at the club since he arrived at Stamford Bridge nine years ago and the boss was emphatic with his answer in that it is an incredible achievement and that working with the skipper each day is ‘an honour’.

‘What a fantastic achievement,’ said Tuchel of Azpi reaching 300 Premier League appearances for the Blues. ‘This is fantastic and the guy totally deserves it.

‘To play 300 matches at that kind of level and to win so many trophies, you deserve it. There is no luck behind it, it is all down to hard work and determination.

‘It is a pure pleasure to be his coach. Azpi is so focused, honest, a sports guy and such a competitor. He is so open and focused on his best performances everyday. What you see on a match day is what I see everyday.

‘He lives his role. He is maybe not the leader that you would sometimes expect from outside or in general that we as people expect leaders to be - loud and extroverted. He is not this.

‘He is very emotional but he is calm, he leads by example. He is not giving speeches every day. When you put him in every single exercise, you know what the level is up to. The captain is in top shape, has had sleep and looks after himself.

‘He is a fantastic captain, a great player and just a really good guy too.’