Ben Chilwell has been closely linked with a transfer to Chelsea in the last few months. Tapas Iyer (@IyerTapas) has compiled a statistical analysis on the player that might change a few opinions on his potential to play for the Blues.
23-year-old Ben Chilwell has grabbed the attention of Frank Lampard across the course of last season. On the surface, he might not look anything out of the ordinary that might garner interests from top clubs. Several Chelsea fans have been disappointed with links to Chilwell while other players like Sergio Regulion and Nicolas Tagliafico are available.
However, numbers reveal more than what we have come to understand. A look into Chilwell’s numbers at Leicester show why Lampard thinks he would fit his system.
Ben Chilwell’s interception per 90 minutes of play is certainly not one of the best in the league if compared with other Premier League left backs from top 4 clubs or those who have played 2250 minutes. But his clearance rate per 90 minutes for a left back in better than what Chelsea have at the moment, and also better than the players in many of the top 4 clubs.
While the number of balls blocked by Chilwell last season per 90 minutes is impressive, his shot blocking rate per 90 minutes pales in comparison to Tottenham players. Ben Davies and Danny Rose have blocked more shots per 90 minutes under Mourinho’s tactics. However, Chilwell ranks 7th among Left-Backs who have blocked passes per 90 minutes.
A look at the statistics of dribblers tackled reveals yet another mediocre story. Chilwell has been dribbled past more than 1.5 times per 90 minutes. The number of dribblers tackled is way lower than Manchester City stars while the percent of dribblers tackled is below average.
However, the clearance, tackles and blocks are not the reason why Chilwell is drawing attention from Lampard. The reason lies somewhere else. Lampard has revolutionised the way Chelsea play drawing comparisons with ball playing clubs like Ajax. The strength of Chelsea’s squad and the manager lies here, in ball playing and ball possession. It is only natural that Lampard would look for a Left-Back who could retain possession, make key passes and work under opponent pressure.
And this is where Ben Chilwell has excelled.
A comparison of Live Ball Passes of all Left-Backs reveal that Chilwell only behind ManCity and Liverpool players in live ball passes. Chilwell possesses the exact trait that is valued by other clubs that play possession based football.
It doesn’t stop there. Ben Chilwell is one of the best in his position when it comes to number of pressures applied on opponets and the number of successful pressures per 90 minutes to win the ball back when out of possession.
His ability to apply pressure in the defensive third will be useful during crucial moments of the game, especially keeping in mind that he is much better than other top 4 clubs.
His ability to apply pressure in mid third is third best for his position when compared with similar players.
However, the most important trait that Lampard is looking for is his ability to pass the ball. Ashley Cole could do it and so could Cesar Azpilicueta when he was playing Left-Back.
Chilwell’s ability to pass the ball when under pressure by opponent players is only behind Chelsea’s current players.
But his ability to make switches is much better than what Chelsea currently have and just behind Manchester City and Liverpool players.
Overall, Ben Chilwell is rated by Frank Lampard for his ball playing ability, ability to make passes and keep a cool head under pressing situations on the pitch. But keeping in mind how his block and clearance rates are better than Chelsea’s rivals, and the way he can add more value to Chelsea at Left-back, it can easily be said that the rumours surrounding Chilwell ability is not a sham. Ben Chilwell is an incredible ball playing left-back whether people agree or not. The hype is real.
What do you think about the potential signing of Ben Chilwell? Will he solve our defensive problems? Let us know in the comments below!