Following the signing of Brazilian left-back Filipe Luis from Atletico Madrid, Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho now has a number of options ahead of next season.
Last season, the naturally right-footed Cesar Azpilicueta took Ashley Cole’s long-standing place in the team at left-back whilst Branislav Ivanovich was played at right-back to accommodate both Terry and Cahill in the centre.
Next season, however, the selection could all change due to the arrival of Filipe Luis and Mourinho revealed to the official Chelsea website a possible backline he had in mind.
“We needed a pure left-back, a real left-back. We always felt that Filipe was a very stable player and one which gave us multi-solutions because I can play Azpi right-back and Ivanovich centre back because of Filipe.”
Given the efforts and patience in sealing his transfer from the Spanish capital, £15.8 million signing Filipe Luis is all-but certain to feature in the Blues’ starting XI in his familiar left-back role come the start of the season.
This will therefore leave Mourinho a tough decision as to who should get the nod at right-back. Azpilicueta is the natural choice, though unlike Serbian international Ivanovic, his small stature leaves him vulnerable at set-pieces.
One of these two are likely feature less than they did last season, and the choice may be entirely dependent on which opposition Chelsea are facing and what possible attacking problems they pose.
England international centre-back Gary Cahill is likely to keep his spot in the team, and whilst partner John Terry showed no signs of aging during an almost faultless Premier League campaign last season, his role could come under threat from the powerful youngster Kurt Zouma.