Chelsea have already sealed incoming transfers for next season in Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner, but we’re probably not done. The rumor mill has long linked Ben Chilwell with Chelsea, as an upgrade to both Marcos Alonso and Emerson.
Saturday’s Leicester City vs Watford encounter looked set for a boring draw with zero goals, but in the 90th minute Chilwell brought life back into it with a phenomenal strike to the upper corner.
The deft touch with his left foot to softly control Demarai Gray’s cross is worthy of praise itself. If Chilwell mishandles that even a little bit, he likely would not have taken a shot on goal. Luckily for him, he set himself up so perfectly, it would have been criminal not to have a whack on goal.
Chilwell put his left foot through the ball and thumped it across Ben Foster’s reach into the far post upper corner. It was a sensational strike for the young English left back, a strike that will surely test Leicester‘s resolve to hold onto their star defender — or hold out for a steeper transfer fee.
The debate on whether Chilwell is the solution to Chelsea’s left back question will continue of course. It should be noted that Chilwell struggled in multiple 1-v-1 scenarios against Ismaila Sarr.
That would make him right in with Chelsea’s current crop of left backs — all susceptible against speed. In defense of Chilwell, he’s relatively faster than Marcos Alonso, equally as agile as Emerson, and certainly more agile than Harry Maguire, his former Leicester City teammate, who displayed the turn radius of an oil tanker in yesterday’s Manchester United vs Tottenham match. (Yes, I just wanted to have a dig at Maguire.)
So what did we learn today? If Chelsea do end up making a move for Chilwell and moving on from Alonso, we would still have a left-footed player in the squad who could score from range. Chilwell hasn’t done this regularly yet — 4 of his 5 career goals have come this season, equalling Alonso’s best pre-Chelsea season — but everyone’s got to start somewhere and he seemingly has the ability to do so.
That said, for me, we would surely miss Alonso’s flowing locks.