Cesar Azpilicueta believes Olivier Giroud’s four goals against Sevilla has proved that every Chelsea player is ready to fight for a place in the starting XI.
The club captain has been out of the side for much of the campaign, with the 31-year-old having only started three Premier League matches this season.
Giroud has been in the same boat as the Spaniard, with the World Cup winner having to sit on the bench while Tammy Abraham and Timo Werner have been given the nod.
But Giroud banged in for goals in the 4-0 win over Sevilla on Wednesday night, which has put him as a front runner for a start against Leeds United on Saturday evening.
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And Azpilicueta believes the striker is proof that the fringe players are fighting for their places in Frank Lampard’s side.
“We have some who maybe aren’t getting the minutes that they had in previous seasons, myself included. But I think our effort day-to-day has been fantastic from everyone,” Azpilicueta said.
“As a squad, we’re all working very hard. We’ve seen that reflected in Olivier Giroud scoring four goals in a Champions League game. That doesn’t happen every day – but it doesn’t happen by itself either. A lot of work that went into that.
“We’re a new team, so we have to keep working hard and take things day by day. But we’re happy with the position we’re in at the start of December and I think it bodes well.
“The ambition at Chelsea has always been to do the maximum possible. I think last season was about adapting – it was a time for transition. Now, we have more experience, new players, and a more solid group.
“We have plenty of strength in depth in our squad, with all of us trying to do our best and give the coach plenty of options.”