However, I fully believe that once James returns to full fitness, and gets a handful of chances to start matches – he will become more than just a backup.
I believe that by January, James will be the main starter for Chelsea at right back.
Is this because I don’t rate Azpilicueta? No, far from it. This is because I believe in the talent that James has so much, that I can see him ousting the reliable Spaniard.
James has it all, everything that the modern full back needs. He has pace, strength, can dribble, full of energy, good on the over lap, excellent at defending, and most importantly of all – is a great crosser of the ball.
He takes free kicks and penalties, and has a very sweet right foot. You can see some of his free kicks below..
This isn’t me blindly supporting youth. This is me fully knowing the assets and qualities needed to be a top full back in this league, and simply, James has more than Azpilicueta.
Don’t get me wrong. I love Azpilicueta, he’s a Chelsea man, and an amazing servant to the club. He has played many heroic matches for us, and he’s a good player.
However, as a full back, I believe he just doesn’t offer enough going forward. Defensively he is usually sound. But going forward I just feel he isn’t comfortable. Far more often than not he will chose to go back or inside, rather than trying to head down the line and attack.
It slows the play up, and fails to give us another attacking outlet that the full backs need to bring. Just look at how fluid and attacking Manchester City’s full backs for an example. I found this video on that subject very interesting.
Azpilcueta has never had a lot of pace, but I think it’s something a modern day full back needs.
James is full of energy, intensity, confident, and will be a real menace in attack, and a beast at the back.