Chelsea’s need for reinforcements in the left back position has been getting more and more obvious by the day, as the recent games to Ajax, Manchester City and Valencia glaringly pointed out. With Marcos Alonso more or less ousted from the starting lineup these days and Emerson Palmieri’s form incessantly oscillating like a pendulum in free motion, it has become imperative for Chelsea to find someone in the left-back position who can somewhat fill Ashley Cole’s long-vacant shoes. In recent times, the spotlight has been on Leicester City’s Ben Chilwell.
Now, according to Simon Johnson of the Athletic, Chelsea have made Ben Chilwell a priority signing, perhaps as early as this January. While that will obviously ultimately depend on the CAS verdict, it does show the club’s thought process and planning for the positions it deems necessary to be strengthened.
Chelsea are days away from finding out if CAS will rule they can sign players in January, but even if they have to wait until the summer, sorting out the left back issue is now one of Lampard’s main priorities. Who stays & who might join is discussed here:https://t.co/XUIPHM9Bfq— Simon Johnson (@SJohnsonSport) December 4, 2019
While the Chilwell rumors have dated back as far as the summer, the magnitude and frequency of the whispers has increased in recent times, especially as Frank Lampard has had to resort to using Cesar Azpilicueta at the left side of the defence (who ironically has looked better defensively than our established LBs) in his search for a permanent solution.
Ben Chilwell’s signing would make a lot of sense: he’s young, English & home-grown, spectacular while attacking (see his 1 goal and 3 assists this season) and defensively solid. However, complications are definitely set to arise when we deal with Leicester who are having a phenomenal season so far under Brendan Rodgers, second only to their inspirational 2015-16 Premier League-winning season under the lovable Claudio Ranieri. The Foxes’ ambitions will mean that they will drive a hard bargain, just as they did when prising out a record fee for a defender when they sold Harry Maguire to Manchester United six months ago.
Johnson’s report mentions two other names we have been linked with before: Jose Luis Gaya of Valencia and Youcef Atal of OGC Nice (who’s primarily a right back, but capable on the left as well) as alternatives in case the Chilwell deal doesn’t pan out. Whether it’s Chilwell or someone else (but preferably Chilwell), the left-back position at Chelsea is in dire need for some injection of quality, and this rumor is definitely a welcome news.
Get it done, we say!