Citing anonymous sources “within the club” (Chelsea, presumably), The Athletic claim that “there is genuine interest” from Manchester City in Ben Chilwell, and not just because he’s devilishly handsome with a cheeky smile and a good sense of humo(u)r.
And while the report then takes a hard turn into an op-ed, advocating that Chelsea should not sell “at any price” (really, at “any” price?), it then goes on to outline several excellent reasons while the club might consider doing precisely just that, should City come knocking in the summer.
- we need to trim the squad
- we need to raise funds to a) keep playing more fantasy transfer market football and b) to stay compliant with Premier League and Champions League FFP rules
- we spent big on Marc Cucurella (two years younger at 24); we have Lewis Hall in the wings; we have Ian Maatsen excelling on loan at Burnley
- we (probably) won’t be able to offer Champions League football next season
- Chilwell will have two years left on his contract: perfect time to maximize his transfer value
- Chilwell has missed a lot of time through injury that last two seasons
- Chilwell would still command a high fee
- Pep Guardiola loves him from before Chelsea and has no actual left backs at the moment
On the other side of the ledger, we have Chilly’s goals and assists when he does play, and that he’s happy and settled at the club. Neither of those exactly support a stance that we “must avoid” letting him leave at “any” price, especially in the context of all the reasons outlined above.
With such a bloated squad and such a massive imbalance in net spend over the past two transfer windows — not to mention our apparent intention to completely reshape the team — we’re going to have to see a lot of familiar faces leave in the near future. I’m hoping Chilwell won’t be one of those, but it wouldn’t surprise me too much if he were.