Remember when Rafa Benitez was Chelsea manager? It has become something of a distant memory despite the fact that it was only two years ago but, even if the Stamford Bridge faithful were happy to be rid of their interim boss, they may have the Spaniard to thank for helping turn a bargain full-back into the best defender in the Premier League.
Benitez wasn't in charge when Cesar Azpilicueta was brought in from Marseille but he played a big part in turning him into a key player during the 2012-13 season. Azpilicueta's development has continued apace so much so that, on Monday Night Football, Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher chose him as the best defender in the Premier League.
'Dave' as he is known by Chelsea players and fans, has certainly improved no end since Benitez first thrust him into the team, however, is calling him the best defender in the Premier League an indictment of the level of defending at the moment?