Graham Potter says Chelsea defender has got ‘stronger and stronger’ recently

Chelsea manager Graham Potter said Ben Chilwell has only improved since returning from his injury as he praised the defender’s impact in Saturday’s win over Leeds United.

Not getting dribbled past even once and creating two chances, including the assist for Wesley Fofana’s winning goal — Chilwell did his job as wing-back really well in this game.

Aside from being able to deal with the lack of right-back options, the extra freedom to attack that Chilwell had is another benefit of this back-three formation.

Having a reliable Benoit Badiashile behind him clearly helped, but Chilwell himself covered a lot of ground and managed to make three tackles in the game.

According to Potter, Chilwell is now closer and closer to being at his best physically.

Chelsea FC v Leeds United - Premier League
Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

“That’s sort of what I’ve been talking about for a while,” Potter told the media in his post-match press conference when asked about Chilwell’s regaining his form.

“When you’re not winning, it doesn’t matter, but the likes of Ben, Wesley [Fofana], Ruben [Loftus-Cheek], Reece [James], and Raheem [Sterling] are all getting minutes in the Premier League.

“In an ideal world, you’d build that up in pre-season and have five or six weeks of build-up on the pitch.

“We’ve not been able to do that, so they have had to do it in the Premier League.

“Ben has got stronger and stronger as the weeks have gone on.

“Today, I thought he affected the game in a really good way and contributed a lot to our first-half performance.”

Amid James’ absence, Chilwell’s attacking output will be even more important to Chelsea’s plans in the next few games, including the second leg against Borussia Dortmund.

Bear in mind that in his best season for Chelsea in 2020/21, the England international produced three goals and five assists in the league, a remarkable record for a defender.

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