Cesar Azpilicueta reckons that the signing of Christian Pulisic serves as a stern warning to the Chelsea squad that the club can easily remove them if they don’t perform.
The Blues endured a frustrating 0-0 draw against Southampton last Wednesday only a few hours after the announcement of Pulisic’s transfer from Borussia Dortmund worth £57.6 million, with the American superstar set to stay with the current Bundesliga leaders until the end of the current campaign.
The transfer fee ranks third in Chelsea’s most expensive deals to date and with Pulisic only 20, it demonstrates the club’s determination to build for the future. The club’s current skipper Azpiliueta expressed his delight at the American attacker’s arrival at Stamford Bridge yet he also reiterated that this move sends a powerful note to the current squad.
“Of course. Chelsea is a top club and the competition is very high. Every moment we need to get results, we need to perform. That has been the case for a long time at Chelsea and will be the same now.
“Obviously I am very happy that Chelsea have signed Pulisic. He is a talented young player and will come in the summer,” said the Spain international. “For the next six months he will be with Borussia, but I’m happy that we are getting young players. Hopefully he can be very good for us.”
Champions League a priority for Azpilicueta
Azpilicueta also clarified to his teammates that they should prioritise qualification for the Champions League in order to not miss out on the competition for the second season in a row.
Despite Wednesday’s draw with the Saints at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea still occupy the fourth and last Champions League spot in the Premier League but having had a poor run of results recently, including a setback against Leicester prior to Boxing Day, they are now only three points ahead of fifth-placed Arsenal, while Manchester United had closed the gap to fourth to just six points.
“After missing out on the Champions League last season, the minimum for us this season is to finish in the top four,” added Azpilicueta. “There is still a long way until May. Sometimes during the course of the season you go through better periods and bad periods.
“At the moment, we didn’t win a game at home and the feeling is not positive. But we need to learn from it. We can’t change the result now, but we can work on improving – we still have a lot of games to play and we will have to fight hard to get our targets.
“We need to take seriously our part – we don’t need to focus on other teams. It’s true that in the last few games Manchester United have won, they are in a good mood, playing with confidence and getting results. But we need to focus on ourselves.
“It’s true that after two good away wins at difficult places to go (Watford and Crystal Palace), we need to consolidate at home. The key is to be really solid at home to get our gains because we know how tough the Premier League is and we have to do better.”