It is no secret that Chelsea Football Club are after a new left-back for the upcoming season. Two names have circulated constantly throughout the ongoing speculation. Sergio Reguilón and Ben Chilwell.
It seems like the latter option is who head coach Frank Lampard favours after several national media outlets, including talkSPORT, reported it earlier this week.
Many Chelsea fans are against the idea of the Leicester City left-back, but why? Firstly, the East Midlands club value him at around £80million. A staggering fee for his position.
Furthermore, his defensive capabilities have been highlighted as an alarming area. This is a major red flag for Lampard, his side were notoriously poor at defending last season. The Blues leaked 54 topflight goals, the highest in the top 10 of the Premier League.
His Spanish counterpart, Reguilón, has been favoured by fans on social media. His ability to get forward is appealing and it suits the current set up. A reported price of £22.4million is a bargain considering the season he has had, not to mention winning the Europa League with Sevilla.
How do you compare the two? Both have tendencies to get forward and make things happen on the left-flank. The two are aged at 23-years-old, but how can the pair be separated via statistics last season?
Milton Keynes born, ‘Chilly’ made 33 appearances throughout the 2019/2020 season. He scored three goals and made four assists throughout the campaign, helping Leicester to fifth place in the Premier League. Their best finish since the 2015/16 season, when they won the title for the first time.
One thing you get with Chilwell is a consistent presence. He played 90 minutes on 25 occasions last season out of a possible 27 he played in the league. This included the 0-9 win against Southampton, he chipped in with one goal and two assists on the south coast.
Overlapping full backs is something that happens a lot when watching Lampard’s blues. The Foxes number three was a constant figure in the opposing final third. He contributed 13 shots on goal, six on target and seven off.
He completed 79 per cent of passes last season, another important stat for Lampard. The side from SW6 dominated possession on many occasions.
Chelsea must concede less goals in the league next time out. Chilwell finished the 2019/20 campaign with a 60 per cent tackle success rate. This included a total of 43 tackles.
The attacking minded defender made 161 recoveries. This equalled at five recoveries per game. A stat which is significant because Chelsea were caught out on the counterattack on numerous occasions last season.
Born in Madrid, Reguilón made 37 appearances for Sevilla last season. His goal contribution concluded at three goals and five assists. He played four Europa League games for his side, assisting against Manchester United in the semi-final.
Playing 31 games in La Liga, the full-back scored one, and assisted one in the first game of the season against Espanyol. After playing 11 games out of the final 15 unbeaten games of the campaign, he played a huge role in his side finishing sixth in the table.
Despite playing predominantly as a left-back, there has been occasions when the Spaniard has been operating on the left-wing. This shows the attacking intent, it also highlights the fact he could play this position if there is an injury crisis or other mid-season issues. Having versatile players is always a positive thing.
A total of 67 passes were made in La Liga, 55 into the final third. Why is this important? There were times last season in which Chelsea could have been more clinical, maybe they were a bit too safe on the ball. Reguilón always had an eye for a forward pass, making things happen on the left-hand side.
Despite being dominant going forward and always looking forward, the number 23 made 85 tackles in the league, including 61 aerial duels won.
Both full backs would improve Chelsea’s backline next season. But, Chilwell has always been the number one priority by Chelsea football club and Frank Lampard. It seems that the deal to bring the England international to Stamford Bridge is near completion, for less of what the original asking price was.
Even though Chilwell looks to be on his way, Chelsea could still move for Reguilon in the transfer window. He would provide quality competition in that area of the pitch and would challenge Chilwell for the first-team spot. His price tag is significantly small, given the quality that he has and this could be good business if Chelsea were to pull this one off. Obviously they would have to move on Emerson and Marcos Alonso. But, for now, the club is showing remarkable progress in the transfer window, and either one of the targets were signed, if not both, would improve Chelsea for next season.