Ben Chilwell has shown his resilience to make mistakes this season in Leicester … he may not have James Maddison’s swagger, but his stunning recent form has warned Chelsea as a summer move
- Ben Chilwell has shown that he can overcome mistakes and improve his game
- After being eliminated from Burnley, the left back was fantastic for Leicester
- Chelsea is desperate to draw him over the summer, impressed by his recent form
- He may not have James Maddison’s swagger, but Chilwell is confident in himself
At best, Ben Chilwell is one of the best attacking fullbacks in the country, but during Leicester’s impressive season, he showed a much more important quality – the ability to quickly learn from his mistakes.
When the Foxes traveled to Burnley on January 19, Chilwell – a strong transfer target for Chelsea – had expected a place in the starting XI, but he wasn’t even mentioned on the bench. Instead, Chilwell cut a bleak figure in the stands when Leicester threw away a lead to lose 2-1.
Neither 23-year-old nor midfielder Hamza Choudhury was eligible for the clash at Turf Moor, as both had missed an important training session leading up to the game. Manager Brendan Rodgers had a weak view of their “misbehavior” and both recalled the commitment required to be an elite footballer.
Ben Chilwell has proven to be one of the best fullbacks in the Premier League this year
Chilwell was locked out of Burnley, but has returned to the Foxes team eager to make something good
CHILWELL STATS 19/20
Minutes played: 2,510
“You are creating a standard that is not acceptable – these are steps for us,” said Rodgers. “This is why, when we won games earlier in the season and played so well, I kept saying things could be improved on and off the field.
“It is a constant step towards excellence and it is a daily activity. You work with players, but authority is of course important and especially for young players, who must understand when preparing for really important matches, you should not miss your training.
“It’s young players who learn that if you want to be at the top of this table, it’s a professional mindset you need, and we can’t transport anyone.”
But three days after being put aside in Burnley, Chilwell returned to the starting XI for the home game against West Ham, delivering an excellent performance and helping his team to a 4-1 win. It showed a strong spirit and ability to quickly spring back from a setback – qualities that Chilwell will need in abundance if he ever wants to join one of the division’s preeminent clubs.
Manager Brendan Rodgers made it clear that he would not tolerate standards slipping
Chilwell has been a driving force for Leicester when they returned to a Champions League return
Chilwell has often been eclipsed by his opposing Portuguese star Ricardo Pereira this season, but he still played a major part in Leicester’s march to third in the table.
With a strong campaign finish, he would certainly hold his place as England’s left-back for Euro 2020 if the tournament had gone ahead as planned, while the corona virus crisis that caused the Premier League suspension meant nature of the summer transfer window is yet to come decides.
While his defensive play still needs work, Chilwell – a poster boy for the Leicester Academy – is a serious force in advancing and has developed an understanding with left-wing attacker Harvey Barnes, another academy product and the breakout star of Leicester’s campaign .
Chilwell is not part of the lead group that drives standards in Leicester’s dressing room – Kasper Schmeichel, Wes Morgan, Jamie Vardy, Christian Fuchs and Youri Tielemans are key figures in that regard – but as a graduate of the academy, Chilwell should be an example for current youth players to follow, and it has been for the most part.
Chilwell may not have the swagger of James Maddison (R), but he’s very confident
Still, his close relationship with the club means he’s been watched closely by Foxes fans, who have sometimes attacked him this season. Again, valuable lessons for Chilwell to learn.
“As fans’ expectations have grown and the performance they want from players and the team has grown, and that’s something he has to live with as top talent, but he’s strong enough to deal with that,” added Rodgers to. “He’s a brilliant young player who has a lot to improve for me.”
Off the field, Chilwell is very close to James Maddison, another young star of the Leicester season. Although Chilwell lacks Maddison’s stubbornness, he still has a lot of confidence in his ability and is confident that he can reach the top of the game.
Leicester still hopes he will do that to them, but Chelsea will likely test that ambition fully.