Few players, especially of the "New Guard" at Chelsea embody the Mourinho ideal more than Cesar Azpilicueta. The new Paulo Ferreira, if you will, the man who would always give a 7-out-of-10 at least regardless of what position he played. (Though even Azpilicueta succumbed to whatever malaise has descended upon the squad this season with multiple sub-par performances.) While Azpi wasn't immediately in Jose's reckoning for the first-team starting eleven back in 2013, once he worked his way in (at left back, even, rather than his natural right back position!), he held on to with an iron grip.
Even before Mourinho came back, Azpilicueta was known as "The Rat" -- no, not for leaking stories but for his utmost dedication in the gym, i.e. a gym-rat -- so one can only imagine how much that attitude impressed the manager. Actually, we don't have to imagine, we know that Mourinho loved it so much, he wished he had 11 Azpilicuetas with whom Champions League victory would've been assured.
Unsurprisingly, Mourinho's sudden departure has left Azpilicueta (and all his secret clones) firmly in the Camp of Sadness, population many.
Today is a sad day. I would publicly like to thank José Mourinho for his contribution to this club and for everything he has taught me over the years. I want to wish him all the best for the future. With him we have achieved very important titles and memories for the fans that will remain in the history of Chelsea forever. He will always be remembered. Thank you mister.
-Cesar Azpilicueta; source: Facebook
Chin up, Dave. If you stick around for another 5-7 years, we just might see Mourinho come back again.