There are a few reasons why Ben Chilwell has proved a brilliant signing so far for Chelsea. His natural quality, athleticism and character helped him become such a popular figure in the dressing room.
Chilwell also provided a number of attributes that had been lacking in a key area for several years, effectively upgrading a position and hopefully securing a long-term option who can remain a trusted player for years to come.
In addition to those elements, Chilwell’s familiarity with the Premier League also helped that rapid integration under both Frank Lampard and then Thomas Tuchel. And under the new consortium led by Todd Boehly, Chelsea could have the chance to repeat something similar with another Premier League name that can boost a vital area.
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Gabriel Jesus is expected to leave Manchester City this summer with his current contract set to expire in 2023. For several weeks it appeared that London rivals Arsenal were leading the race for the Brazillian’s signature as Mikel Arteta attempted to add a new forward after the departures of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette.
However, a recent report from Sport claims that Chelsea have entered the race for Jesus along with Spurs and Real Madrid. Fabrizio Romano claims that Jesus is expected to remain in the Premier League should he leave City this summer.
neither Expected Chelsea pointed out, his numbers from the 2019/20 league season are quite impressive. Ranking first in Non-penalty xG per 90, shots and progressive passes received, despite still being only 22. At 25 now, investing in a player who has already played a part in four title-winning squads and has Champions League experience could offer consistent value to an attack that has regularly lacked it.
Jesus also fits the profile of a player that would suit Tuchel’s style of counter-pressing and heavy possession, a problem Chelsea has had with the likes of Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner, players who thrived in more counter-attacking teams where more space was available . At City, Jesus is accustomed to working in tight spaces against defences that sit deep and try to restrict space. And at around £ 42m, according to some reports, Chelsea would not be breaking any records.
His goal return of eight from 28 league appearances across the 2021/22 season matches that of both Kai Havertz and Lukaku, so it is fair to argue he is not an elite finisher as other targets are, though that was the theory when buying Lukaku last summer. The profile of an attacker within Tuchel’s system feels a lot more relevant to their adaptation, and adding a player who not only suits it, but has the versatility to play across a frontline could prove useful.
There are also intangible things about Jesus at this point in his career that makes him interesting. Even with all the success gained at The Etihad, is his motivation for leaving fuelled by the frustration of not being a regular starter or the main man? At 25, with years left to give, he maybe feels with a new challenge, he can prove to be a better player than people give him credit for.
With the delicate nature of the Lukaku situation and the club’s recent track record with attacking additions, the lure of spending on another name like Christopher Nkunku from RB Leipzig might get pulses racing more, but needn’t I remind you what happened the last time the Blues splashed on a Leipzig star who tore up the Bundesliga.
Jesus might not be the 30-goal a season forward (yet) but has enough experience in England, skills that appear suitable for Chelsea and room for growth that getting him ahead of Arsenal might prove the best bet.