Shirt numbers available to Ben Chilwell at Chelsea
Speculation continues to gather pace regarding the future of Leicester City’s Ben Chilwell, who has become a regular fixture in the Foxes’ lineup over the past couple of seasons.
Chelsea, who are supposedly nearing a deal for Timo Werner, have been heavily linked with a swoop for Chilwell in recent months.
There have been concerns as to whether Frank Lampard’s side will be able to fork out the required funds for the left-back amid the coronavirus pandemic, but Chilwell reportedly remains a priority target for the Blues ahead of next season.
Here, we looks at which shirt numbers could be available to the 23-year-old at Stamford Bridge.
Chilwell has donned the traditional left-back’s number three jersey at Leicester since the 2016-17 season – a shirt he previously wore for their Under-18 and Under-23 sides.
The same number is currently occupied by Marcos Alonso at Chelsea, but with the Spaniard’s spot seemingly under threat ahead of the 2020-21 campaign, Chilwell could be in line to inherit the ‘3’ in the blue side of London.
Chilwell made his first-team debut for Leicester under Claudio Ranieri in their unforgettable 2015-16 campaign, and the left-back wore the number 30 shirt in that season.
David Luiz was the most recent player to wear the same jersey for Chelsea before his move to London rivals Arsenal last summer, but Chilwell may opt for a number of higher value following his impressive performances for Brendan Rodgers’ side this term.
Fellow left-back Emerson Palmieri has also been linked with a move away from Stamford Bridge recently, potentially leaving the number 33 shirt open to a new arrival.
Chelsea’s extensive list of players out on loan has left the ‘6’, ’14’ and ’16’ untouched during the 2019-20 campaign – numbers last worn by Danny Drinkwater, Tiemoue Bakayoko and Kenedy respectively.
With none of the trio looking likely to challenge for a first-team spot at Chelsea anytime soon, Chilwell could very well be spoilt for choice should he decide to make the switch to the English capital.
How Chelsea could line up with Ben Chilwell, Timo Werner
Chelsea look set to have win the race to sign highly-coveted RB Leipzig forward Timo Werner – with a recent report claiming that the Blues have agreed a £53.8m deal for the prolific frontman.
Lampard’s side are also set to welcome Ajax attacker Hakim Ziyech to the blue side of London this summer, and it has been claimed that Leicester City full-back Ben Chilwell remains a priority target for the Chelsea manager.
With that in mind, sportingcycle looks at how the Blues could line up next season with Werner and Chilwell in the first XI.
It would be harsh to leave out Tammy Abraham after a stellar breakthrough campaign in the Premier League, but Werner would most likely go straight into the starting lineup as an out-and-out striker in Lampard’s system.
The 24-year-old has also shown his capabilities on the left-hand side for Leipzig, but Chelsea are already well-stocked for options there with Christian Pulisic and Callum Hudson-Odoi battling for a spot in the starting lineup.
Werner would be supported by Ziyech out on the right and Mason Mount as a number 10, as the veteran duo of Willian and Pedro look set to depart Stamford Bridge at the end of their respective contracts this summer.
With regards to Chilwell, the Englishman would almost certainly slot in at left-back should Lampard opt for a 4-2-3-1 system, but the 23-year-old’s spot may not be guaranteed in a 3-4-3 with the attack-minded Marcos Alonso proving his worth as a wing-back.
Lampard has tinkered with a three-at-the-back formation during his inaugural campaign as Chelsea manager, although Chilwell’s record of two goals and four assists for Leicester this term shows that he would be more than capable of flourishing in that role.
The Englishman would likely be joined by compatriot Reece James on the other side of defence, with the centre-back pairing of Kurt Zouma and Antonio Rudiger forming a respectable backline for the Blues.
Lampard is not short of options in the middle of the park either, but the experience of N’Golo Kante and Mateo Kovacic will likely be preferred to the up-and-coming Billy Gilmour.
Despite persistent speculation linking Kepa Arrizabalaga with a move away from Stamford Bridge after a turbulent campaign, the Spaniard looks set to stay put in London ahead of the 2020-21 campaign.