Ben Chilwell is a full-back in high-demand this summer, with Manchester City reportedly leading the chase for the highly-rated Leicester and England star and all for a whopping estimated sum in excess of £75m.
That report dates back to March 5th 2019 but The Telegraph later reported that City had triggered his release clause earlier this month, though the article was later removed from the site. Evidently something is afoot.
A fee in the region of £42 million (via Joe) was reportedly enough to trigger his release clause – a decent price considering his age and nationality.
With this information in mind, let’s see what those in the know have to say on an unassuming player who has once again put in a consistently sublime season.
In 2016 the Gunners made a £3.5m bid for the then teenager and, with the bitter taste of hindsight festering, will be kicking themselves at not upping it significantly.
Regardless, after naming the 22-year-old as one of his three ideal signings for Arsenal during this window, club legend Ian Wright clearly believes the North London giants should return with twenty times the cash. As per the Daily Mirror:
“He is the kind of left-back who is getting better with every game. He’s an England international now. Somebody that I’m sure is going to be sought after.”
Chilwell was always going to be a favourite of the new Leicester gaffer: a hard-working, talented young lad receptive to new ideas. Thus it proved with a strong finish to the campaign that saw the left-back rated highly on a weekly basis by Whoscored.
Even just a few weeks into his tenure, however, the admiration was apparent with the player capped six times for England on the end of some fulsome praise. As you would expect from an elite coach there was some grit in the oyster to ensure his young charge keeps his feet on the ground. As per the Manchester Evening News:
“I think what he has brought into the first team is a lot of natural ability, great speed, he is very gifted, has great power and a great temperament, but I still feel there are one or two more gears he can go through in his game, which is great because you don’t just want him to be a good player, you want him to be a top player.”
Before Rodgers there was Claude Puel, who equally spoke well of the player, but it shouldn’t be under-estimated how important a figure Puel’s predecessor Craig Shakespeare has been in Chilwell’s development, first as an assistant coach during the left-back’s breakthrough into the first team and then for six months as Leicester’s head coach himself.
With the season barely underway last August, Shakespeare was already certain who one of its major stars would be, effusively telling Sky Sports:
“His strengths are definitely going forward. He is very athletic and very good at getting into the final third. It might also be a bit surprising, because he is not the biggest, that he is also very good in the air. So even as a full-back, when he has to cover he can do it.”