Ben Chilwell was coveted by Chelsea throughout last season, and specifically by Frank Lampard to be his first choice left-back. This summer Chelsea were offered several players for that position but the Blues decided to put all the eggs in the Chilwell basket and eventually signed him, despite the 23-year-old carrying an injury.
In his belated introductory press conference, which have become en vogue this season, Chilwell joined all the other summer signings in talking up Lampard's crucial role in his switch from Leicester for West London.
“I spoke to the manager and straight away got that feeling that you want to play for him and you want to win for him. He won a lot of silverware here and I think it’s important to play for a manager that loves the club I’m joining and knows what it takes to win trophies here.
“That has been a big reason why a lot of the players have joined. His man-management seems top, even the boys who aren’t playing will say that as well, and tactically he’s very good. He just seems like a really good guy who you want to do well for and that was the main reason I wanted to come.”
But Chilwell also paid tribute to another Chelsea legend who played a big role in the decision, and for whom Chelsea have been trying to find a successor ever since he left in 2013.
"Coming to Chelsea, as well as talking to the manager, a big factor for me was speaking to Ashley Cole. Seeing the career he had here, I wanted to emulate that and still do.
"Having someone like that who has played for Chelsea and England, it was important for me and I was quite keen on getting to meet him so I could get to know him and pick his brains on what he thought of Chelsea as a club and how he reached the success he had here.
"I was quite keen to have that chat to find out stuff like that and I’m going to work as hard as I can over the next however many years to try to emulate what he did here."
"He just said work hard - I know it sounds pretty cliché but the fans here love players who want to work hard and die for the badge and win for the football club. He said when he first came here, he wanted to win for the club because he loved playing for Chelsea and if I could take that on board, really loving the club and wanting to win for it then I should have a great career here."
From Ashley Cole to "Ashley Cold", the narrative is set.
Unfortunately, so far Chilwell has missed Chelsea's first three Premier League games, but started on Tuesday in the League Cup having just about recovered from his heel injury. Lampard has been gradually easing him in, and he should be in line for his first league start this weekend.
"It was a plantar fascia injury and with that you can’t come back too quickly because it just aggravates it. It’s been frustrating because when you join a new club, you want to train and play straight away and help the team but it was one of those things that if I rushed it, I would have made it a lot worse.
"I feel fit now. I played 65 minutes against Tottenham a few days ago and felt very fit. I knew going into that game it would only be a 60 or 65-minute job for myself because it’s an injury where I can’t miss steps out and just jump to playing 90 minutes straight away.
"I felt fine after the game which was positive and I trained today ready for the weekend so fitness-wise I feel very good."
With a shortened preseason and only one preseason game, Chelsea have gone into the season a bit undercooked and have looked raw indeed in most of the games so far.
While buying several top class players point towards instant improvement, the team chemistry is yet to bed in properly. Chilwell, like all of us, is looking forward to the team starting to perform to expectations.
"With the players we have and the players that have been brought in, as well as the coaching staff, it’s a good recipe for things that can happen this season. We’reworking a lot on the training pitch defensively in terms of conceding less goals from set-pieces and open play.
‘We’re working hard on that and hopefully when we build that team chemistry a bit more over the next few weeks and everyone starts training more and getting back to match fitness, it should start to gel nicely."
-Ben Chilwell; source: Chelsea FC
Things aren't super comfortable at Chelsea at the moment, with just 2 wins in 5 games in all competitions. The pressure is slowly building on Lampard and the team, but the recovery of players like Chilwell, Pulisic and Ziyech from injury should bring more positivity, strength, and most importantly, wins going forward.