Branislav Ivanovic happy with Cesar Azpilicueta's arrival at Chelsea despite new competition

 

Branislav Ivanovic has praised his rival Cesar Azpilicueta and insists he has no problem with the Spaniard's arrival at Stamford Bridge.

Azpilicueta looks set to be handed his Chelsea debut in tonight's Capital One Cup third round clash against Wolves.

Big things are expected of the former Marseille man, who has represented the Spain at six different youth levels, but he has had to wait patiently for his first appearance for the Blues since moving from France last month.

Ivanovic has settled in to the right-back position after starting his Blues career as a centre-back and he has no plans to give up his place in the team easily.

The Serb insists he is not concerned that Azpilicueta has been bought to replace him, though, claiming that the signing of the 23-year-old could be beneficial to the squad as a whole.

"It's great to have competition between the players, it's very positive," Ivanovic said.

"Cesar is good, he is working very hard and he is waiting for the chance and he will show his qualities and how good he is.

"One player cannot play in one position all season long."

Azpilicueta is likely to be one of up to four Chelsea players making their full debuts against the npower Championship side tonight.

Marko Marin, Lucas Piazon and Victor Moses could all start their first game for the Londoners, with Blues boss Roberto Di Matteo keen to rest a number of senior players ahead of this weekend's league game against Arsenal.

"I'm sure there'll be one or two that haven't had much time on the pitch who'll be playing on Tuesday," said Di Matteo, whose team have only dropped two points so far this term.

"We'll mix it up. There are a few players who have played one or two games before that deserve a chance and there will be some senior players too."

Of the quartet who could be set to make their bow, Moses is the one whose arrival at the west London club has sparked the most excitement.

Many were surprised that Di Matteo pursued the former Crystal Palace player after signing Oscar and Eden Hazard this summer, but the Nigeria international is someone that has been on the Blues boss' radar for quite some time.

"He's young and he'll still improve and develop but he's an exciting player that I tried very hard to sign, not just this year but previously as well, years ago," said the Italian, who had spells at West Brom and MK Dons before moving to Stamford Bridge, originally as assistant manager to Andre Villas-Boas.

"He's a player I like very much and he will have a big influence in our season.

"He's strong at holding the ball, his dribbling ability is very good, he can go past defenders, which not many can, and he's got the pace as well.

"He's very good at making runs in behind, he's a very good player.

"It's good that nobody else noticed."

PA

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