Cesar Azpilicueta believes that Chelsea will only continue to grow under new coach Maurizio Sarri, with the defender stating that the Blues look “better with every minute” under the Italian’s stewardship.
Sarri, who took Napoli to a second-place finish in Serie A last season, inked a three-year deal to become manager at Stamford Bridge following Antonio Conte’s dismissal in July, and is so far unbeaten in pre-season.
Azpilicueta, who returned to action for the Blues against Inter on Saturday, has nothing but kind words to say about his new boss too, praising the 59-year-old’s stylistic approach and work ethic application.
"It’s been really good since the first day," the Spain international told Goal ahead of the club’s encounter with Arsenal in Dublin as part of the International Champions Cup. "We’ve been learning his methods and I think the team looks better with every minute.
"We know we don’t have a lot of time to prepare for [the new season] so we have to work hard to pick up the movements we want to do.
"I think we saw a good team against Inter and we have to play collectively to get the results."
Azpilicueta stressed that while the team is enjoying the early stages of Sarri’s tenure, they still have plenty of work to do before the new domestic campaign begins, with an early chance for silverware on the near-horizon, against Manchester City in the Community Shield on August 5.
"We are improving and we have to keep learning in the games that we have on Wednesday and then on Sunday against City,” the full-back added.
"We know we can still improve, we have room for improvement and we want to work on that aspect."
Addressing his own flexibility in the back-line following a World Cup campaign where he filled multiple positions for Spain, Azpilicueta stated that he would be willing to fill whatever role is required of him at Chelsea this season.
"I’ve always said, I try to adapt," the 28-year-old further explained. "Every time that I play in a different position, I want to improve and to prove myself.
"But the most important thing is to give everything for the team."
Chelsea split their two remaining ICC encounters against Arsenal and Lyon with the Charity Shield at Wembley before they start their Premier League campaign away at Huddersfield Town on August 11.