Ben Chilwell is currently regarded as one of the best left-backs in the Premier League, and most definitely right up there with the best in the world. Currently playing for Chelsea, he is shining in his new team, and dominating each new challenge he is faced with.
After being transferred to Chelsea from Leicester, many thought he would struggle, but that hasn’t been the case at all, and the 24-year-old isn’t close to slowing down anytime soon. Here are the reasons why Ben Chilwell is such a gifted player.
Brendan Rodgers praised Chilwell for his motivation and drive while he was at Leicester, and he hasn’t lost that at all since being at Chelsea. He is always pushing forward, always dropping back when he needs to, and his attitude doesn’t drop no matter what the score is.
Chelsea have lacked confidence, and while Tuchel has definitely lit a new fire in the team, it is players like Chilwell that they need more of, confident and motivated players that always fight for themselves and their team.
Ability to Win Aerial Duels
Having the strength and ability to win aerial duels is, even now, still very underrated and underappreciated. It can mean the difference between falling victim to a counter-attack, or being able to set one up for your own team.
You can’t ignore the obvious aspect of the fact that more and more attacking players are getting bigger and stronger, and having the strength to win aerial battles is a must in this day and age of the game, Chilwell does it incredibly well.
This ability is not only beneficial in a defensive setting, but also an attacking one. Chelsea have the ability to put in very well-placed crosses and free kicks, and having someone in the box who could put head to ball is essential, Chilwell is that player.
Ability to Cross
The modern-day left and right backs don’t only defend, but also spend a lot of the game attacking. Trent Alexander-Arnold is the prime example of the new-age wing-back, strong defensive strength, but very impressive attacking strength as well.
Chilwell proved during his time at Leicester to be a player that can most definitely fulfill that attacking wing-back position. He has great pace, he has the eye for a great pass, and his crosses are incredible.
We will talk about counter-attacking next, but clearly his speed and passing ability factors massively into Chelsea’s ability to counter-attack, as well as just attack in general. Whether a goal is scored from them or not, having a player that can put in a pinpoint cross and freekicks will quickly put any opponent on the back foot.
A skill he mastered at Leicester, Brendan Rodgers’s team is famous for their quick counter-attacking abilities, with Jamie Vardy having the speed he does, Leicester are built for it, the same thing can be said for Chelsea.
If you combine his aerial abilities, as well as his pace and passing prowess, you have a player that is built for counter-attacking football. Chilwell can start one all the way at the back, simply winning a header from a freekick or cross.
Timo Werner and Tammy Abraham have the pace to get forward and allow for Chilwell and Chelsea to turn a defensive situation into an attacking one, much like how you see Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson doing the same thing with Firmino, Sadio Mane and Mo Salah.
While we still need to wait and see if Chilwell can be to Chelsea what TAA and Robertson are to Liverpool, he most definitely has the potential and ability to do so, as well as the players around him to make it happen.
Clearly, being a left-back you need to be defensive-minded, however, Ben Chilwell does seem to have the ability to balance attacking and defending almost perfectly. He was constantly praised by Brendan Rodgers for how quickly and willing he was to drop back and stay in position to defend.
He is also very capable of not being dragged out of position when defending, and therefore opening up holes for attacking players to move into. He knows where his teammates are, and makes moves that makes it easier to defend, and not moves that force his teammates to work harder.
Even though Ben Chilwell is still young, he already plays like a veteran, and aspects of his game are at a level that most professionals can only dream of. Transferring to a team like Chelsea can be the catalyst that takes him from incredible, to world-class.
The upcoming Euro’s competition will be another competition for him to show his ability on an international stage, with Gareth Southgate already praising the player and showing faith in his abilities.
Thomas Tuchel has also been able to bring the best out of his players, and Chilwell is most definitely benefiting from this. With the current season winding down, next season could be the one that Ben Chilwell makes his mark as one of the best left-backs in the world.