Is Sergio Reguilon a future Chelsea left back? If recent reports are anything to go by, then he just may be. The Real Madrid full back has been in fine form this year, and is potentially available for a low fee of around £25 million.
The left back situation sees Marcos Alonso and Emerson as illegitimate options going into the 2020/21 season. The aforementioned position has been a constant showing of inconsistent performances and Chelsea fans deserve better. The time is now to find a new starting left back who can make that position their own.
One name has been consistent from the very start. Ben Chilwell of Leicester City. It seemed the plethora of names mentioned in the media all served as potential alternatives to the number one target.
Breaking this week, reports broke out of a potential signing of Reguilon, who now emerges as a serious contender. That leaves us to debate the simple question of who should Chelsea sign? Is it Chilwell or Reguilon?
Simply put, he is an England starting international and up there with the best left backs in the Premier League. Both are great examples why Chelsea have been targeting him all this time. Even Ashley Cole gave his blessing for Chelsea to sign him, when he claimed he ‘would love to see Chilwell at Chelsea’
On paper Chilwell is the safe, secure signing, promising a young and athletic full back for potentially the next eight to ten years. He has that vital Premier League experience, unlike any of the other targets, and is proven in this league and at this level. It’s also been written that Lampard is big admirer of the 23-year-old, and since his talent identification has been spot on so far, it’s hard to go against Lampard.
One thing he has over Reguilon is his physical capabilities. Being brought up on English football, he stands taller than the Spanish full back and he wins 2.1 aerials per 90 at a success rate of 60%. He has coped with some of the best wingers in the league, doing particularly well against Adama Traore and in the three games against Chelsea this season.
It’s also fair to say since the restart, his form has not been great which hasn’t helped his case among Chelsea fans. However, a few poor performances doesn’t define a player and over the course of this year and last, he has been right up there with the best in the league in that position.
There is one main reason why Chelsea fans have turned their collective noses at this potential signing. Rumoured transfer figures seemed to be around £60-80m bracket, with Leicester desperate to hold onto their man. That is a figure which is extremely high for someone not proven at the highest reaches of the game. It also lends itself to looking at the cheaper alternatives.
Not many Chelsea fans will have seen the 23-year-old play, but he has been on loan at the impressive Sevilla this season from Real Madrid. It’s seen him grow as a player, as he was voted the best left back in La Liga, ahead of the likes of Ferland Mendy, Jordi Alba and Renan Lodi. It’s no mean feat and there is no denying he is a great prospect due to the season he is currently having.
His strengths lie in his technical ability, pace and attacking play. In comparison to Chilwell, he betters the Englishman in certain key areas. With more chances created (41) higher tackle success (58%) better crossing accuracy (28%) and more passes into the penalty box (39) Make of that what you will, but it shows that Reguilon has been performing at a higher level offensively this year.
He has been highly involved in the buildup play for Sevilla – averaging 10.18 progressive passes per 90. He is adept at both under and overlapping, as it has resulted in him having the second-most shots, 23, of any fullback in La Liga.
The worry for fans is defensively. Whilst his attacking play is lauded, Chelsea need a left back who can defend. My personal pick is Tagliafico, as he is proven defensively at the top level. However, Regulion shares a similar defensive style to Tagliafico, which could sway Chelsea fans and even the people making the decisions.
Both styles incorporate pressing high to suffocate attackers and to win the ball high. He also possesses recovery pace quicker than Alonso and Emerson which can help to aid any defensive frailties and help cope with transitions.
Statistically, he boasts 8.57 recoveries, 9.01 defensive duels, and 4.04 counter-pressing recoveries per 90 showcasing his high pressing defensive nature. This suits Frank Lampard’s high energy, pressing system whilst Emerson and Alonso do not.
Both are fantastic options and both are exceedingly better than the current personnel. Defence wins titles, so it is of paramount importance that the left back spot is indeed secured come the start of next season.
Financially, the better deal is Reguilion as he stands at less than £30m whilst Chilwell has a minimum price of £50m which would likely rise.
Additionally, both are the same age and while Chilwell has the Premier League experience to boast, his Spanish counterpart has La Liga and European experience on his side. Ability wise, Reguilion offers more in terms of technical ability whilst perhaps Chilwell offers more in a physical sense. However I’m not discounting Reguilon’s pace and stamina in any way.
With other targets such as Kai Havertz, a goalkeeper and perhaps a centre back, it makes total financial sense to sign Reguilion for a fee around £25m. Then use the saved money to put towards a bigger signing in a different position. He is as good, if not better than Chilwell and is experienced and available.
With talks over Chilwell’s transfer fee stalling again and again, it seems more realistic that Reguilon will be the future Chelsea left back.