Chelsea defender Cesar Azpilicueta has revealed that he is ‘always proud’ when he gets the chance of captain the team. The Spaniard is one of the longest-serving members within the Blues squad, having joined the club in 2012 from Marseille.

To date, Azpilicueta has made over 300 appearances in all competitions for the club, winning two Premier League titles, one FA Cup, one League Cup and one Europa League in the process.

On paper, Gary Cahill is still the Chelsea official club captain. However, the 32-year-old is clearly not part of Maurizio Sarri’s long-term vision as he has so far been confined to starting mainly in cup games, with those using football betting strategies to stake on the transfer market likely to fancy the England international with a move away from the Bridge. It is likely that Cahill will not be part of the squad beyond next summer and from that point on, the club should consider appointing Azpilicueta as the club captain on a permanent basis.

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When talking about how he feels about captaining the side, Azpilicueta said, as quoted by The Daily Mail: “We shouldn’t compare with other generations. We are our own team with our own identity. The leaders in the team have to do it their own way. Things change, everything moves on, not just in football.

“I’ve shared a dressing room with JT, Frank Lampard, Ashley Cole, Didier Drogba and Petr Cech, and I learned so much from them. But football has to move on. I have captained the team during the last few months after being made vice-captain behind Gary Cahill last season. But I must do it in my own way.

“This is my seventh season at the club. Chelsea is my club, my home. I recognise I am one of the leaders. When new players arrive I take it upon myself to show them the Chelsea way.”

Some have, however, suggested that the club should offer the club captaincy to Eden Hazard if they want to increase their chances of having the Belgian ace commit his long-term future to the club. Hazard has been strongly linked with a move to Real Madrid who reportedly view him as a direct replacement to Cristiano Ronaldo. The 27-year-old’s contract at Stamford Bridge is set to expire in 2020 and the fact that he has not committed to fresh terms suggests that he is at least considering an exit.

If Hazard does not sign a new deal before the end of next summer, the club may have to sell him as they will risk losing him for free the year after.