Frank Lampard’s Chelsea side have done admirably well to cling on to fourth place for the majority of this Premier League season. However, it can be argued that this has been down to their rivals’ inability to put together a consistent run of wins rather than Chelsea’s own proficiency. Indeed, at the point when the current season was suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Chelsea were only three points in front of Manchester United, with the Red Devils being seen as favourites to pip their London rivals to the last Champions League spot (unless Manchester City’s ban is upheld by the CAS) in the latest free football predictions available online.
Nevertheless, Lampard has mostly been immune from criticism in the media due to the fact that Chelsea were operating under a transfer ban, and thus Lampard had to make do with what he had at his disposal. While a number of the club’s younger players rose to the occasion initially, their youth and lack of experience has shown, with the likes of Mason Mount, Fikayo Tomori and Tammy Abraham fading after impressive starts to the season. However, Lampard has had the opposite problem at left-back, where he has two relative veterans to choose from, but does not really trust either of them.
Chelsea’s current left-back options are Emerson Palmieri and Marcos Alonso. While the Brazilian, Palmieri, started the season as the incumbent, his weak performances led to Lampard being forced to play Alonso, even though it is obvious to everybody that the Spaniard struggles when played as part of a back four. To his credit, though, he has done extremely well whenever Lampard has played a back three and used him at wing-back, and has recently discovered a knack for scoring goals as well. Lampard does not intend to play with a back three consistently though; the 4-3-3 is his favoured formation, and as such, neither player fits into his plans. He has even been forced to use club captain Cesar Azpilicueta at left-back, and while the Spaniard has previously excelled in the position, the 30-year-old does not have the legs to play there anymore. Chelsea are thus on the lookout for a left-back in the summer, and Leicester City’s Ben Chilwell would fit the bill perfectly.
Chilwell has had a standout couple of seasons for Leicester, and is widely regarded as one of the best left-backs in the Premier League, probably behind only Liverpool’s Andy Robertson. He has also made the left-back spot his own for England, illustrating his rise. Brendan Rodgers’ arrival at the King Power Stadium has seen Chilwell being given a lot more license to attack, which would fit in perfectly with how Lampard wants his full-backs to play. He would also be able to slot in at wing-back whenever Lampard would want to switch systems and play with three centre-backs, due to his aforementioned attacking abilities as well as his athleticism. Chilwell would be the perfect signing for Chelsea to pursue over the summer transfer window, and Lampard’s side would become a lot more secure, both offensively and defensively, if the England international could be persuaded to move to Stamford Bridge.