Chelsea announced the signing of Christian Pulisic from Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday, just hours before the goalless draw with Southampton at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea signed the 20-year-old for £57.6 million but loaned him back to Borussia Dortmund for the rest of the season.
According to Cesar Azpilicueta, the signing of Pulisic from Dortmund serves as a warning to Chelsea players that the club can easily replace them if they don’t perform.
Pulisic is Chelsea’s third most expensive signing ever and Azpilicueta is happy Chelsea signed the American international.
When asked by Standard Sport if the Pulisic deal is a reminder that the players can’t afford to drop their standards as the club consider other signings in the market, Azpilicueta replied: “Of course. Chelsea is a top club and the competition is very high.
“Every moment we need to get results, we need to perform. That has been the case for a long time at Chelsea and will be the same now.
“Obviously I am very happy that Chelsea have signed Pulisic. He is a talented young player and will come in the summer.
“For the next six months he will be with Borussia, but I’m happy that we are getting young players. Hopefully he can be very good for us.”
Chelsea’s goalless draw with Southampton on Wednesday means the Blues lead over fifth-placed Arsenal has been cut to three points.
Sixth-placed Manchester United have cut the gap with Chelsea from 11 points to six points.
Chelsea finished fifth last season, missing out on Champions League football and Azpilicueta has urged his team-mates not to make the same mistake as last season and miss out on the top four for a second time.
Azpilicueta added: “After missing out on the Champions League last season, the minimum for us this season is to finish in the top four.
“There is still a long way until May. Sometimes during the course of the season you go through better periods and bad periods.
“At the moment, we didn’t win a game at home and the feeling is not positive. But we need to learn from it.
“We can’t change the result now, but we can work on improving – we still have a lot of games to play and we will have to fight hard to get our targets.
“We need to take seriously our part – we don’t need to focus on other teams. It’s true that in the last few games Manchester United have won, they are in a good mood, playing with confidence and getting results. But we need to focus on ourselves.
“It’s true that after two good away wins at difficult places to go (Watford and Crystal Palace), we need to consolidate at home.
“The key is to be really solid at home to get our gains because we know how tough the Premier League is and we have to do better.”