Ben Chilwell is Frank Lampard’s new man to fix Chelsea’s leaky defence. We analyze if the English fullback is good enough.
Chelsea’s major summer overhaul continues with the Blues edging closer to signing Leicester City’s left-back Ben Chilwell. The 23-year-old has been heavily linked with a move to Stamford Bridge for the past two seasons. However, Chelsea’s transfer ban meant Frank Lampard was unable to strengthen his squad for two consecutive transfer windows. With the transfer ban lifted, Lampard has been one of the busiest managers in the market this summer, outlining his intentions to challenge Liverpool and Man City for the title in the new season.
After a successful 2019/20 EPL campaign in which Leicester finished fifth and secured Europa League football, Brendan Rodger’s side had no need to sell their best players. Consequently, Leicester’s asking price for Chilwell was high as £50 million.
Chelsea’s last season’s number one left-back, Marcos Alonso, had mixed performances, and was in and out last season with his back-up Emerson unable to challenge the Spaniard for the number one spot despite his unconvincing displays. This enticed Lampard to make Chilwell his number one defensive transfer target this summer, someone he compared to his mate during Chelsea’s most prolific years and also one of England’s best left-backs ever Ashley Cole.
Watch: Why Ben Chilwell is The PERFECT Left-Back for Frank Lampard! w/ Football Therapy
The England left-back enjoyed a solid season under Rodgers, scoring three goals and assisting three times. He also created 36 chances (5 big chances) and made six goal contributions. Additionally, Chilwell was solid defensively with a 51% tackle success rate, an average of 1.0 interceptions, 2.0 clearances and 8.9 ball recoveries per game.
Statistics aside, Chilwell’s player profile perfectly suits Lampard’s playing philosophy, which explains the former Chelsea midfielder’s pursuit of the 23-year-old left-back.
The Leicester City left-back possesses the attacking qualities necessary for a team using full-backs as attacking outlets in the opponent’s final third. He is good on the ball, which allows him to retain possession in advanced areas on the left-wing, combining with Leicester’s wide players and attacking midfielders. Subsequently, good ball-retention and combinative play enable the England full-back to pick the right options in the final-third and thus heavily contribute to a team’s attacking play.
However, Chelsea’s biggest problem last season was their defending. Lampard’s team conceded the most goals of the top 10 teams in the division, which suggests that a more defensive-minded left-back might be a wiser choice. Chilwell is, indeed, solid defensively but may not be to the extent that he could solve all of Chelsea’s problems on his own.
Watch: This Is Why Chelsea Paid £50M For Ben Chilwell
Nevertheless, Lampard’s playing style requires his full-backs to be good going forward, therefore, in addition to his young age and homegrown status, Chilwell seems like a wise signing.