And there could be a man at risk of losing his place should Ivanovic continue to play as he is.
In the long term, one would expect Filipe Luis to frequent the left-back spot for Chelsea, leaving Azpilicueta with the right-back position as his best chance to cement a regular place in the side.
Defensively, he would be the right pick - just about.
|Team||Pos||Aerial Duels Won||Interceptions Won||Tackles Won||Effective Clearances||Apps||Mins|
As Opta stats show, the Spaniard marginally shaded 30-year-old Ivanovic, winning one more aerial duel and making six more clearances.
The likelihood, of course, is that all three will get their fair share of game time this season, anyway. After all, Ivanovic can also play at centre-back, while Azpilicueta will certainly have plenty of scope to deputise for Luis.
But, if Mourinho were to pick his first-choice right-back right now, it might just be Ivanovic.
|Team||Pos||Goals||Dribbles Won||Touches||Accurate Passes||Successful Final-Third Passes||Apps||Mins|
And, as the stats show, that choice would be made based on the Serb's ability going forward.
Indeed, against Burnley, Ivanovic scored once and was also involved in Chelsea's other goals. Attack-wise, the right-back was superb for the Blues.
He only won one more dribble than Azpilicueta and took exactly the same amount of touches as the 24-year-old but, crucially, he made twice as many successful final-third passes.
It is that cutting edge that could earn Ivanovic a regular slot within Mourinho's back four, despite the fact that these statistics are based on just the one game.
As the Chelsea boss stated about Thibaut Courtois's selection ahead of Petr Cech, the Portuguese coach is taking things on a game-by-game basis.