Chelsea manager Graham Potter has suffered a challenging start to his tenure at the club, currently riding a three-match losing skid and subsequently spending the World Cup devising a plan to counter the lapse in form.
Despite the club’s struggles, several rays of light are shining through, with 18-year-old starlet Lewis Hall starting to break into the first-team reckoning after impressing for the development squad.
A versatile left-flanker, enjoying success both as a full-back and within a more offensive-minded position, Hall made his first-team debut for the Blues last season, earning Man of the Match against Chesterfield, in a performance of quality beyond his years.
Praised for his “mature” nature by Potter, Hall is certainly on the way to earning more opportunities for the Blues, having made two appearances for the Blues in the matches preceding the World Cup in Qatar.
Enduring a challenging outing against Manchester City in the Carabao Cup, recording a match rating of 6.3, Hall returned with a steady performance against Newcastle United in the Premier League, and despite losing the match offered glimpses of prowess that Potter will be confident in developing over the coming months.
Against the Magpies, Hall completed 81% of his passes, making three interceptions and one tackle, as per Sofascore.
And at just 18 years old, earning two starts for Chelsea is no small feat, with his quality and potential clearly two factors that the hierarchy hold close, believing that with the right tinkering, a star of supreme quality might arise in the coming months.
It’s worth noting that against City, Hall impressed with bursting runs and deft dribbling patterns, but ultimately succumbed to the supreme quality of the English champions.
His ability on the ball, almost intrinsic, offers shades of esteemed former Chelsea left-back Ashley Cole, who is regarded as one of the greatest to adopt the position and flourished for years with his darting forward runs, excellent defensive skills and a knack for providing brilliant attacking assistance.
With Cole making 337 appearances for Chelsea, scoring seven goals and providing 37 assists, winning the Premier League, Champions League and Europa League during his stay, Hall has some way to go before successfully replicating the 41-year-old’s endeavours, but he’s off on the right foot.
Indeed, if Hall is to continue his development, and continue building the blocks at Chelsea, then the club might just have found the regeneration of their iconic full-back.
With Ben Chilwell and Marc Cucurella both ahead of the young Englishman in the pecking order, Hall clearly won’t assume the regular starting role for some time yet, but with a diligent, hard-working approach, he can absorb the wisdom of his seniors and make use of the impeccable training facilities that Chelsea boast, possibly rising to the highest level at the club.