At 21 years old, Ben Chilwell is on course to become an established Premier League player within the coming years and with 21 caps for England’s underage sides he is almost a certainly to be featuring for the Three Lions very soon.
After an impressive opening fixture at Old Trafford, the left back caught some well-deserved attention right from the off-set and throughout and is set to be Claude Puel’s first choice this campaign. In the fixture against United, Chilwell was somewhat more confident on the ball then in previous seasons and seemed to believe in his ability. He spent much of the game last Friday marauding down the United defence and pestering United’s right hand side, linking up efficiently with Demari Gray and whipping balls into the United box.
The youngster enjoyed a spell featuring from the start towards the end of last years campaign but did spend most of last season, like the majority of his time so far at Leicester City, playing back up to Austrian left-back Christian Fuchs. Although he did gain 24 Premier League caps last season, the majority of these were as substitute and ultimately replacing Christian. Yet with Fuchs closing in on retirement and playing out what will likely be his last season in the East Midlands, Chilwell can be assured of more match time and first team action in the coming seasons.
What is noticeable with Leicester’s number three is his unique ability to defend as well as attack and his willingness to stride towards goal while trying to protect his own. It is the youngsters agility, power and awareness which sets him up to do this so well. It has already been seen during the pre-season and during the United fixture that Chilwell will be a vital asset down the left-hand side for the Foxes, whether it be attempting to assist his team mates with inch perfect crosses or whether it be getting in on the goals himself.
Despite all this, Chilwell is understandably not yet the full package and there are a variety of elements of his game which need work. Having watched him over the past few seasons he is somewhat naive with his defending and for a host of Premier League wingers he is a dream to come up against. The naivety of his defending comes with his desire to stride forward and support his attacking colleagues usually leaving a gaping hole which is difficult to fill. This lack of judgement will only develop with match time and when the youngster realises the importance between his attacking and defensive responsibilities.
In spite of this, the 21-year-old got off to a flying start and will look to continue this as his team host Wolves this upcoming weekend. What could be result of Chilwell’s improvements is the relationship he has with new Leicester recruit, James Maddison. The latter joined from Norwich this summer for £24m and has linked up previously with Chilwell for England’s u21 side. The two strike up a unique relationship and with Maddison switching East Anglia for the East Midlands, Chilwell’s football could likely improve as a result.
It was in fact Leicester’s left-back, who spent his youth career at the Foxes, who has this week
backed Maddison to go on and be an established figure for the Three Lions after a satisfactory debut for the Foxes, and if Chilwell continues he could soon find himself joining him in a Three Lions camp.