Following the arrival of Todd Boehly and the Clearlake Capital group, Chelsea fans have seen some very big spending, and there has been plenty of changes made both on and off the pitch but we are now gearing up for the 2023/24 Premier League campaign and hopefully a far improved season under former Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino.
It looks like it will continue to be another busy summer as well as Pochettino reshapes his first team squad, and as this week came to an end, we saw one very notable departure. Club captain Cesar Azpilicueta has drawn the curtain on his trophy laden eleven year spell at Stamford Bridge and has confirmed that he has now signed a 12 month deal with La Liga outfit Atletico Madrid. As fans check next seasons Chelsea live scores, people will undoubtedly look to see how he is getting on at his new club.
During the 33 year old defender’s time with us, following his arrival back in the summer of 2012 from Ligue 1 side Marseille for a reported fee of £6.5 million, the 45 capped Spanish international won every available honour with us, including two Premier League titles and the Champions League.
He did have 12 months remaining on his existing deal at the club, but obviously following our spending so far, we need to strip the squad out as we are player heavy and sales are needed to help rebalance the books, as there are some valid Financial Fair Play concerns doing the rounds at this moment in time.
In a social media video released by the club, our clearly emotional skipper explained.
“It is difficult to express how I feel, it has been incredible. I feel I gave everything. I love it. I think it would be pretty obvious to pick the highest moment of my career, when we won the Champions League in Porto. It was my first trophy as captain. Chelsea is my home, it always will be and hopefully I can come back in a different role.”
Having taken over the armband from former skipper, Gary Cahill, he leaves us this summer having scoring 17 goals in a total of 508 appearances for Chelsea, and he is one of only six players to have won the Premier League, FA Cup, League Cup, Champions League, UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup and his 13 cup final appearances is currently a club record.
His time in London has already seen plenty of changes at Chelsea, and he has seen ten managers come and go and he was, of course, linked with a potential move to Barcelona back in August 2022, but went on to sign a new two year deal with.
He is the latest big name departure this summer as we have already seen Kai Havertz, Mateo Kovacic, Mason Mount, Edouard Mendy, Kalidou Koulibaly and N’Golo Kante move on to pastures new.