Frank Lampard’s Chelsea side have done pretty well to cling on to the fourth place for the majority of this Premier League season. Chelsea is currently embarking on a long-term rebuilding project to get back to the top of the English League. Since Frank Lampard arrived at the club as manager last summer, there have been signs of the team progressing rapidly. Chelsea has already begun their preparation for next season, having secured a 33.4 million pound deal for Hakim Ziyech in February. The club has also agreed to sign German striker Timo Werner’s from RB Leipzig for 53 million pounds.
Ahead of the summer transfer window, a left-back is the primary target for Frank Lampard’s side, and he is keen to secure an upgrade on Marcos Alonso and Emerson Palmieri ahead of next season. According to transfer reports, Chelsea is interested in acquiring left-back Ben Chilwell from Leicester City. Emerson Palmieri started the season as the incumbent, but he has his limitations. He isn’t hugely useful in the forward areas of the pitch and can be exposed defensively by the Premier League’s best wingers. A couple of bad performances has seen the Italian lose his spot in the starting eleven to Marcos Alonso, who has struggled to play in a back four. Alonso has been effective in the wing-back position when Chelsea play a back three. He has also chipped in a few goals as well this season.
However, Lampard favors a 4-3-3 and a 4-2-3-1 formation instead of a back three. As a result, neither Emerson and Alonso fits into Lampard’s long term plans. Lampard has had to utilize Cesar Azpilicueta at left-back at times, a position that the club captain has previously played. Despite his familiarity with the left-back spot, Azpilicueta does not have age on his side nowadays. He also doesn’t have the legs to play in the left-back position anymore. As such, there is a need to reinforce the left-back position. However, the question is, Can Ben Chilwell solve the left-back issue at Chelsea?
Ben Chilwell has had two standout seasons for Leicester City and is one of the Premier League’s best left-backs. At a young age, he has already made the left-back spot his own in the England National team. The arrival of manager Brendan Rodger’s at the King Power Stadium has given Chilwell the license to attack, which will be a big plus for Chelsea.
Under Lampard, Chelsea has developed a definite way of playing. With the full-backs, Lampard usually wants them to make forward runs in a possession-based style of football. As such, the position demands a lot of movements on the flanks, which Chilwell could comfortably do. Chilwell is ever willing to make runs forward as he has been doing for Leicester City on countless occasions this season. These forward runs take the opposition defenders out of position, which in turn provides space for wingers to maneuver the ball and create goal-scoring opportunities. He can also slot in at wing-back whenever Lampard wants to switch systems and play with three center-backs due to his aforementioned attacking abilities as well as his athleticism. Chilwell will add a lot of impetus to the Chelsea defense both defensively and offensively.
What so special about Chilwell?
Leicester City fans have enjoyed watching Chilwell. He possesses all the qualities of a modern-day full-back and can make an impact in both defensive and attacking departments. His quick pace also helps Leicester City whenever they are counter-attacking.
Another attacking trait in his game is that he is not afraid to try and dribble past his opponent. He is also a good passer of the ball and can win aerial duels. Chilwell is also quite comfortable with clearing away dangerous crosses. He is also exceptional when it comes to 1v1 situations and can quickly neutralize tricky wingers.
Ben Chilwell still has four years left on his contract at the King Power Stadium, and Chelsea will have to qualify for the UEFA Champions League to entice Chiwell to Stamford Bridge.
He would be reluctant to move to Stamford Bridge if Chelsea misses out on the Champions League qualification. At the moment, his current side Leicester City are third on the Premier League table and are in contention to secure a top-four finish and get Champions League football for next season.
Another stumbling block for a possible move to Chelsea is Chilwell’s price tag. It will be a challenge for Chelsea to convince Leicester City to sell their prized asset.
They have shown in the past that they don’t sell their players for little money, which was evident during the transfer of Harry Maguire to Man United. If Chilwell can keep his form and stay away from injuries, he will undoubtedly become the best left-back in world football within the shortest possible time.