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Official: César Azpilicueta leaves Chelsea

Farewell, Legend

Manchester City v Chelsea FC - UEFA Champions League Final Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

Chelsea have spent a lot of money in the transfer market over the years, some of it wisely, some of it not so wisely. Undoubtedly, some of the wisest bits were the €7+2.5m we gave Olympique Marseille in 2012 for a fairly unheralded young right back, called César Azpilicueta.

At the time, Azpi was just another name in a window that featured six major signings, all under the age of 24, most of whom did indeed become key players for many years after (not least of whom was Eden Hazard). And it was a rather unpronounceable name for many, so we just called him Dave.

Eleven years, 508 appearances, and more trophies than we can count later (at least one of each!), Azpilicueta leaves as one of our greatest legends. The veteran defender is set to join Atlético Madrid on a two-year contract, after we granted him free passage in recognition of his outstanding, in many ways unparalleled service.

Azpi’s departure has truly underlined that end-of-era feeling we’ve had all summer. We close the book on his chapter. And now we write the next one.

Will it be as good as the previous one? That’s going to be a massive challenge. We’re going to need a few new Azpilicuetas, though I fear they don’t really make many like him at all.

From one Dave to another, thank you for everything.

Chelsea FC v Newcastle United - Premier League Photo by Chris Lee - Chelsea FC/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

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