Premier League: Chelsea’s 2019-20 Players of the Year

Tammy Abraham, Chelsea, Premier League (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images )
Tammy Abraham, Chelsea, Premier League (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images ) /
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Watching Chelsea’s defense was like watching an actor going to the basement during a horror movie. You just knew something eventually was going to go wrong.

The Blues gave up two or more goals in 13 of their 29 league matches. They managed only six clean sheets as their primary goalie, Kepa Arrizabalaga, had the worst save percentage in the Premier League. It is no wonder that Sarri wanted to pull him during the Carabao Cup final last year.

However, it was not always the goalkeeper’s fault, as CFC gave up the second-highest xG per shot on target in the Premier League. Their defense generally gave up too many good opportunities.

Despite this, Lampard’s club did have some stand out defensive performers.

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Kurt Zouma led the club in clearances and second in shots blocked. His other specialty was long-range passing as he had the second-highest completion percentage and cumulative progressive distance.

Defensive midfielder Jorginho deserves special mention due to his work rate and tenacity. He led in interceptions, pressures in the defensive and mid-third, and the number of dribbles contested. The Italian ranked third in tackles, and fourth in tackles won. Most importantly, he managed to get ten yellow cards without getting a red.

The contest for Chelsea’s defensive player of the year is not even close.

The captain of the Blues is also the anchor that holds the defense in place in the storm.

César Azpilicueta has played eight seasons for Chelsea and is their right-back and captain. His place on the team is well deserved as a result of his seniority and productivity.

The 30-year-old led the team in passes blocked, shots blocked, total blocks, pressures in the defensive third, dribblers tackled, tackles in the defensive third, tackles won, and total tackles. The gap between César and his other back-line teammates in these categories is overwhelming.

He also is involved in the Blues’ build-up of play from the back. The Spaniard led in total and completed passes as well as in the cumulative progressive distance of his passes. He has also contributed three assists and is second in xA.

To top it all off, César chipped in two goals and led all defenders in shot and goal creating actions per 90 minutes.

Next. Chelsea need to bin Kepa for Onana. dark

It would be hard to imagine what kind of horror show the Blues defense would be without their captain on the pitch.