PREMIER LEAGUE

Lampard’s Chelsea rebuild continues with the signing of Ben Chilwell

The England left-back becomes Chelsea’s third major signing of the summer as the club looks to close the gap on Liverpool and Manchester City.

Lampard’s Chelsea rebuild continues with the signing of Ben Chilwell
GLYN KIRK AFP

Chelsea have today announced the signing of Ben Chilwell from Leicester City for a fee believed to be worth close to £50million. The 23-year-old spent five years at the King Power Stadium, making 99 Premier League appearances and contributing four goals and nine assists.

Chilwell had been on Frank Lampard’s radar for a while with the full-back putting in impressive performances in an overachieving Leicester side. However despite their early-season form the Foxes missed out on Champions League qualification on the final day of the 2019/20 season as Chelsea pipped them to fourth spot.

Leicester ended last season with a disappointing run of form and seemed to suffer from the absence of Chilwell who missed the final five games with a heel injury. There were concerns that his struggle to shake the injury could hamper his move to West London but Chelsea officials were happy with the results of a specialist’s report carried out in recent days.

On his unveiling at Stamford Bridge, Chilwell said: “I am delighted to be joining Chelsea at this very exciting time for the club. I’m looking forward to being a part of this young, dynamic squad led by Frank Lampard as we challenge for honours next season. I can’t wait to get started and hopefully it won’t be long before we’re playing in front of the Chelsea fans at Stamford Bridge.”

New-look backline starts to take shape

Chelsea’s defensive frailties last season were well-documented as the Blues shipped more goals than 14th-placed Crystal Palace in the league. Their existing options at left-back, Marcos Alonso and Emerson Palmieri, looked good going forward but were often exploited by opposition forwards on the break. Lampard will hope that Chilwell can bring more defensive qualities to the backline without forfeiting any of the attacking abilities required of a modern full-back.

The Chelsea boss has also sought to give opportunities to young English players during his time in charge with Mason Mount, Fikayo Tomori, Reece James and Tammy Abraham enjoying considerable game-time last season. Lampard’s reputation for improving young talents makes Chelsea an attractive proposition for players looking to make the step up to the elite level.

To further strengthen their backline Chelsea are believed to be close to agreeing a deal for Paris Saint-Germain central defender Thiago Silva. The Brazilian impressed in his side’s run to the Champions League final but with his 36th birthday drawing near PSG were unwilling to meet his demands for a contract extension. Sky Sports have reported that terms have now been agreed and Silva will undergo a Chelsea medical on Thursday.