EPL

'My best Spain games were with him' – Azpilicueta hints at Luis Enrique preference as next Chelsea head coach

By Sports Desk April 10, 2023

Cesar Azpilicueta has hinted at a preference for Luis Enrique as Chelsea's next head coach, as the Premier League club continue their search for Graham Potter's permanent successor.

Potter was dismissed earlier this month, with the Blues turning to ex-manager Frank Lampard on an interim basis through the end of their campaign.

Several candidates are thought to be in the mix to take charge from next season, with former Barcelona and Spain boss Luis Enrique among them.

Azpilicueta played under his countryman for La Roja, and suggested he would enjoy a reunion, but also stressed he would back whatever call Chelsea make in the end.

"My best games with the national team were with Luis Enrique," he told EFE. "But there are parts [of the club] who negotiate [these things].

"We trust [them] with doing what is best for the club. We will see what happens."

Luis Enrique took charge of Spain in July 2018 following their exit from the World Cup in Russia, succeeding Fernando Hierro.

Under his leadership, La Roja reached the semi-finals of Euro 2020 and finished as runners-up in the 2021 Nations League Finals, with Azpilicueta starring in both runs.

However, a dismal campaign at the Qatar 2022 World Cup, where his side laboured in the group stage before suffering a last-16 exit to Morocco, saw him step down from his position.

Chelsea lost their first game back under Lampard, a 1-0 defeat to Wolves on Saturday, and next face Real Madrid in the Champions League quarter-finals on Wednesday.

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