This article is part of Football FanCast’s In Numbers series, which takes a statistical look at performances, season-long form and reported transfer targets…
When Manchester United fans and scouts alike tuned in for England’s clash with Montenegro on Thursday night, the likes of Jadon Sancho and James Maddison would probably have been the players they may have kept a particularly close eye on.
A report from ESPN in recent weeks have claimed the duo are amongst the club’s leading targets for next summer, and so seeing how they performed on the international stage would have been a great look-out. But in the end, neither of them were who caught the eye.
Instead, it was fellow rumoured target Ben Chilwell who stole the show from left-back, and showed United exactly what they would be getting if they were to sign him from Leicester. In a truly dominant team display, the 22-year-old produced an all-action masterclass that showed his credentials as a top-quality defender with some very impressive attacking attributes too.
Despite operating as a full-back, Chilwell delivered an incredible display going forward. As per Sofascore, his number of touches were second only to United centre-back Harry Maguire, and in being so involved in the Three Lions’ play, it was little surprise to see him rack up a hat-trick of assists.
His delightful little chipped ball for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to rifle home was arguably the pick of the bunch, but he was a constant thorn for the Montenegro defence with his runs both on the inside and outside. His five key passes were a game-high – two more even than fellow Red Devils transfer target Sancho. But not content with showing how good he is with the ball at his feet, Chilwell also made four tackles – the highest of any England player on the night.
His all-action display delivered a major message to any United onlookers, and particularly to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Whilst the Red Devils already have their very own England left-back in Luke Shaw, Chilwell’s virtuoso performance proved he could well be better than him.