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Friday, April 8, 2022

Cesar Azpilicueta can skip dream Spain return to give Chelsea Eden Hazard and Didier Drogba gift

  Cesar Azpilicueta has reached elite status at Chelsea football club. During his time with the Blues, he has won every single trophy pre...

 

Cesar Azpilicueta has reached elite status at Chelsea football club. During his time with the Blues, he has won every single trophy presented to him, including two Premier League titles and a Champions League.

Having ticked all the boxes in accolades both as a player and a captain, it's only right that he moves on to the next chapter in his career. However, it seems as though this might not be the case.

Despite reports suggesting that the Spaniard will make his way to Barcelona by the end of the season, Azpilicueta can choose a different route. This could see him enter the bracket of the likes of Didier Drogba and Eden Hazard.

Chelsea fans have a special connection with Drogba and Hazard for a number of reasons. A common denominator is the fact that neither player wanted to leave the club in a bad state. Drogba wasn't actually set to leave in 2012 until Chelsea had won the Champions League.

Hazard was willing to stay another year, although he could have made an uncomfortable situation for Chelsea just like Thibaut Courtois did in the summer of 2019.

 As the club's current captain, Azpilicueta is left in a much more difficult situation than Hazard and Drogba. Chelsea are facing an unprecedented era where the government has sanctioned the owner.

Their form has dropped drastically, with them concerning seven goals in two games, losing both. And after losing the Carabao Cup final, they could possibly be out of another competition following their 3-1 loss to Real Madrid in the Champions League. It's no wonder that Barcelona are worried that they could miss out on the Spaniard.

According to Sport, there is a 'sensation' that Azpilicueta won't join Barcelona in the summer as they wanted him on a free transfer. In 2012, Chelsea almost did not make it into a Champions League spot.

They ended their Premier League season in 6th place with an FA Cup trophy in the locker. It didn't feel right saying goodbye to any of Chelsea's legends at the time, despite a number of them being tipped for an exit.

Drogba's mind was not made up until after the Champions League final, as his future plans coincided with whether or not he could gift the fans with one last piece to the puzzle.

"I would have stayed if we hadn't won the Champions League because that was my challenge, what I wanted to achieve," Drogba said to The Sun.

"If we didn't win, it would have been very difficult for me to leave because we have been chasing this trophy for eight years."

The former Chelsea striker charged his way through to the Champions League final and ensured that he did everything he could to give the fans what they had longed for. Despite interest from many top clubs, he had sworn to never go to another Premier League club, insisting that his' blood is blue'.

Hazard's situation was slightly different from the Ivorian's. Being one of Europe's hot topics after the World Cup in 2018, the Belgian was almost set to leave that summer. He dreamed of his move to Spain, and he was not quiet about it. Following the World Cup, he said,

"After six wonderful years at Chelsea, it might be time to discover something different. I can decide if I want to stay or go, but Chelsea will decide if they want to let me go."

Considering that the Blues finished 5th and were not going to play Champions League football, Hazard felt like a no-brainer to leave. Real Madrid came calling, and Chelsea could have easily let him go and cash in.

 After Thibaut Courtois' stunt, forcing an exit to Madrid during the pre-season the season before, it felt inevitable that Hazard would do the same, but he stuck by and had a fantastic individual season to ensure that he left on a high.

"I will tell you the truth, after the World Cup, I wanted to leave because my dream is to play in Spain," Hazard mentioned following Chelsea's 1-1 draw against Liverpool. "But then I talk with the board here, with the manager, and I say OK, you don't want me to leave, I can stay, no problem. I'm happy here. To stay, I think, was the right decision."

I can imagine that similar discussions are being held with the current Chelsea captain as the Blues feel destined to struggle in the last stint of the season. There are just five more weeks until the season is over, and there are still so many unanswered questions.

Only time will tell, but my guess is that Azpilicueta's love for the club will force him to stick it out for another year, putting his dream return to Spain on hold. Not only will the fans appreciate this, but it will grant him that legendary status at Stamford Bridge.

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