Chelsea have spent most of the past decade searching for the heir of Ashley Cole at left back — Marcos Alonso has been an excellent “wing”-back, but less so as a more complete “full”-back — but the hope is that with Ben Chilwell’s signing, we have finally found our man.
Chilwell’s a couple years younger than Cole was at the time of his arrival, but he’s certainly eyeing the benchmark set by the club (and England) legend — who’s also one of his idols.
“In terms of my career, it was a pretty easy decision.”
“It’s great [that] I’ve got that kind of benchmark of what a great Chelsea left back is. Obviously, I grew up watching Ashley Cole play. I know how respected he is here. And that was a big reason for me wanting to come. I feel like I’m I’m still young and I want that sort of career that he had at Chelsea for myself as well.”
The other big reason for the big decision was another Chelsea legend, one of the biggest, and one who just happens to be the current manager of the club as well. Frank Lampard’s proving to be quite a good salesman for the club, which hopefully will be matched with just as good results on the pitch after all these reinforcements arrive this summer.
“Talking to Frank before I came was one of the main reasons I wanted to come. He instilled a lot of confidence in me, told me how much the system suits the way I play, and just seemed like a really good guy that you can talk about stuff away from football. I think that’s very important for a young player, a manager that you can get on with. [...] Talking to him was a massive, massive reason for me wanting to come.
“When I spoke to the the gaffer, he kind of installed that I already knew, that this system really does suit me. When I watch Chelsea play, I look at the full backs and think that’s perfect for me, that’s my game down to a tee. So yeah, literally can’t wait to get started and hopefully many great years here to come.”
Those are just some of the right things that Chilwell says in his first interview with Chelsea TV, which is available on the official website, and the 5th Stand app, if you’re into that.
Other right things include calling Chelsea an “elite club” and relaying his excitement at joining the Blues. That said, there is not a single mention of trophies, but we can cure that in no time (hopefully).
“I remember coming here when I was 12, 13, 14 playing in the youth teams and just seeing what a great club it was even then. It’s always kind of a daunting thing to play against Chelsea when you’re younger; such an elite club. So being part of it now, I’m really excited and can’t wait to get started.”
Unfortunately, Chilwell won’t be able to get started straight away due to the heel injury he picked up towards the end of last season (i.e. in July), but he says he’s close to finishing his recovery, so hopefully he can come up to speed pretty quickly after that.
“Over the last four or five weeks, I’ve been doing a lot of fitness, what I can, and the injury is healing really well. So hopefully not too long ‘til I’m back on the pitch.
“[I’m] really looking forward to seeing you all at the Bridge soon and hopefully we have a great season.”
-Ben Chilwell; source: Chelsea TV
Let’s hope so!
Absolutely buzzing to sign for @ChelseaFC. Really exciting time for the club, with such a good squad! Can’t wait to meet all of the lads and everyone around the building. Special thank you to the manager for the faith he has shown in me. A dream come true. Come on you blues pic.twitter.com/xpfIklsgzn— Ben Chilwell (@BenChilwell) August 26, 2020