Ex-Chelsea star turned BT Sport pundit Joe Cole has compared Ben Chilwell to Marcos Alonso
Former Chelsea winger Joe Cole has explained the one thing Ben Chilwell gives the team that Marcos Alonso could not.
Chilwell was signed for £45m from Leicester City earlier in the summer, and it appears he will now be Frank Lampard’s first-choice left-back.
The England defender made his Premier League debut for the Blues in their comfortable 4-0 win over Crystal Palace, opening the scoring before setting up another.
Alonso has been a great servant to Chelsea since joining from Fiorentina in 2016, but the left-back position was quickly identified as one the team could improve.
The Spaniard has always been a threat in an attacking sense, but has, on occasions, been caught out defensively.
Cole believes that Chilwell is more of an all-round defender than Alonso, after seeing the 23-year-old impress on his league debut.
“His left foot is lovely, like Alonso’s, but I think he’s a little bit more astute defensively and he gives you a little bit more nous defensively,” the former Blue said on BT Sport.
After a bit of a scrap in the Palace box, the ball eventually fell to Chilwell – who smashed the ball home from close-range.
The English left-back then turned provider for Kurt Zouma, who he found with a fantastic cross before the Frenchman headed into the top corner.
As well as his attacking contributions, Chilwell showed that he can be relied on defensively, and helped keep Palace’s counter-attacking threats down to a minimum.
Rio Ferdinand, who was working alongside Cole for BT Sport, was also full of praise for the former Leicester defender.
Ferdinand said: “I think more importantly, a clean sheet, and that’s been something hard to come by on a consistent basis for this Chelsea team.
“What he’s done is that he’s come in and it seems like water off a duck’s back to him, confidence, happy to be on this stage, happy with the expectations that are gonna be different from what he had at his previous club. Today, I thought he was fantastic.”