25 March 2020 08:35

Newcastle United F.C. Andreas Samaris Premier League

chelsea f.c.

Chelsea turn attention to Ajax defender after abandoning transfer pursuit of Ben Chilwell

At his best, Ben Chilwell is one of the finest attacking full-backs in the country yet, he has displayed a far more important quality during Leicester's impressive season – an ability to learn quickly from his mistakes. When the Foxes travelled to Burnley on January 19, Chilwell – a strong transfer target for Chelsea – would have expected a place in the starting XI, yet he was not even named on the bench. Chilwell has often been overshadowed this season by his opposite full-back, Portuguese star Ricardo Pereira, but he has still played an important role in Leicester's march to third in the table. With a strong finish to the campaign, he would surely have retained his spot as England's first-choice left back for Euro 2020, had the tournament gone ahead as planned, while the coronavirus crisis that caused the suspension of the Premier League means the nature of the summer transfer window is still to be decided. While his defensive game still needs work, Chilwell – a poster boy for the Leicester academy – is a serious force when charging forward, and has developed a good understanding with left-sided attacker Harvey Barnes, another academy product and the break-out star of Leicester's campaign.

ben chilwell

'As the fans' expectation has grown, and the performances they want from players and the team has grown, and that's something that he, as a top talent, has to live with, but he's strong enough to deal with that,' Rodgers added. Off the field, Chilwell is very close to James Maddison, another young star of Leicester's season. He's been on Frank Lampard and Chelsea's radar all season, with a string of consistent performances for the Foxes this season helping to fire Brendan Rodgers' side into surprise Champions League contention. 90min then learned in October that Lampard's side were indeed looking at replacing Marcos Alonso and Emerson Palmieri, with the Leicester man one of a number of options. But ​Goal report that Leicester's valuation - which could reach as much as £80m - could be a major stumbling block, even though Lampard would prefer to sign the Englishman over FC Porto's Alex Telles and Barcelona's Marc Cucurella, who are also on the club's shortlist.

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Current head coach Lampard's tinkering of his system and reluctance to play either on a regular basis suggests he's aware of the need to strengthen, and in Chilwell, he could snare a defender who is likely to get better as he's only 23. Reece James identifies one player to watch at Chelsea next season Chelsea manager Frank Lampard is expected to strengthen defensively this summer, with one of either Emerson Palmieri or Marcos Alonso likely to leave Stamford Bridge at the end of the current campaign. England international Chilwell has long been thought of as the Blues' first-choice left-back target, but the 23-year-old is under contract until 2024 and Leicester are demanding £80million for his services. Chelsea are therefore expected to pursue Porto defender Alex Telles, but reports from Italy suggest Tagliafico is also under consideration. Calciomercato claim the Ajax star is one of several names being studied by the Premier League club, and the 27-year-old is thought to be the "least expensive" option available to Chelsea.