EPL

Chelsea trust youngsters to deliver, insists Azpilicueta

By Sports Desk August 12, 2019

Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta insists the young players in the squad are trusted to deliver despite the 4-0 thrashing by Manchester United on Sunday.

Frank Lampard's first Premier League game in charge of the Blues ended in the worst opening-day defeat in the club's history, with Marcus Rashford's double and strikes from Anthony Martial and Daniel James sealing their fate at Old Trafford.

Former Chelsea and United manager Jose Mourinho questioned Lampard's team selection, with Mason Mount and Tammy Abraham starting while Olivier Giroud and N'Golo Kante were on the bench.

Lampard insisted his choices for the starting line-up were hampered by injury concerns and felt the result was harsh on his side, especially after a positive first-half performance.

Azpilicueta also believes it would be unfair to suggest Chelsea's youngsters are not ready for the step up to regular Premier League football.

"We trust in them," said the 29-year-old. "We know that we have a fantastic academy and they have had fantastic experience on loan. If they are here it is because they deserve to be. They are fighting in every training session.

"All the boys, they train to play for the Chelsea first team since they were young and now we have a massive opportunity to create a fantastic group, to learn from every game. Obviously everyone would like to start in a better way, but we have to face the reality and become stronger from it."

Azpilicueta is eager to move on quickly from the defeat, the heaviest for a Chelsea boss in their first competitive game at the helm since Danny Blanchflower's side lost 7-2 to Middlesbrough in December 1978.

Next up for the Blues is a UEFA Super Cup clash with Liverpool in Istanbul on Wednesday, with Azpilicueta keen to show they have learned from their Old Trafford errors.

"We know that Chelsea always fight for everything," he said. "When you don't win, the questions around get more and more, but we have to cope with it.

"We have to learn from the game. We know that we can improve. We have to face it, take the responsibility and move forward.

"We have a trophy to fight for against a good team and we have to be ready for it."

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    - The Mirror says Arsenal are keen to re-sign PSV's Donyell Malen, who left the Gunners two years ago. It could cost Arsenal up to £50m (€56m) to bring the 20-year-old back to London. Liverpool are also believed to be interested.

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