Huddersfield Town are far from the best team in England’s second division, but they are certainly doing a lot better than the last couple seasons, when they were flirting with and barely avoiding relegation. In fact, they’re still in the (early) hunt for a potential playoff spot, which could yet see them return to Premier League, even, after a short absence.
One of the big reasons for their improvement has been the addition of Chelsea loanee Levi Colwill, who’s played a massive role alongside fellow summers signings Matty Pearson and Tom Lees in solidifying their defense under second-year manager Carlos Corberan. But unlike Pearson and Lees, two veteran defenders with plenty of proven experience at this level, the 18-year-old Colwill, a decade their junior, was embarking on his maiden senior professional campaign.
And that has made his impact even more impressive, highlighted by their 3-0 defeat this past weekend to league leaders AFC Bournemouth (Dom Solanke at the double!), which the Chelsea loanee missed through suspension (for yellow card accumulation).
The Chelsea loanee, who had also missed a few games earlier this month through an ankle injury, is expected back for Saturday’s match against Millwall, and Corberan’s certainly looking forward to being able to call on him again.
“He’s a very young player with a lot of things he is doing fantastically, and other things he needs to continue improving. My selection is never dependent on the player, it’s on the team. If he’s in my team it’s because I think he has the skills to help the team in that position.
“I think he’s going to be one of the most important centre-backs for this country in the future.”
That’s certainly some heady praise for a player with less than a dozen professional games under his belt, but Colwill’s learning and developing at a breakneck pace — making good on the central tenet of our Loan Army in the process.
“I am seeing a player with a lot of potential and a lot of personality [and] he’s developed many of the skills to play a high level of football since he started training with us.
“The demands are always greater when you step up a level but I am seeing him develop in a very good way. Some of the things I saw from him before he started working with us. I am watching a player with a fast-growing development.
“Some players need more time for this process to make the transition from academy football to a high level of (senior) football [but] Colwill is adapting well to senior football and I feel in another year he will have grown even more than he has done right now.”
-Carlos Corberan; source: Yorkshire Post
Given the uncertainty surrounding the long-term futures and contract situations of most of the Chelsea’s current center backs — four of the five are on expiring contracts, and the fifth, Trevoh Chalobah has just 18 months left — Colwill could be arriving just at the right time to take full advantage. Next summer might be just a bit too soon, but if he continues developing at the same rate he has been this season, he could indeed be going right to the very top.