Chelsea legend Ashley Cole has revealed Ben Chilwell sought his advice after joining Frank Lampard’s side. Chilwell has hit the ground running since his £50million switch from Premier League rivals Leicester City in the summer transfer window.
The 23-year-old had to be replaced during the first half of England’s Nations League defeat to Belgium on Sunday.
And given his impact on the team since joining in the summer, Chelsea boss Lampard will hope he is fit for Saturday’s trip to face Newcastle.
The Stamford Bridge side have won six and drawn three of the 10 games Chilwell has played so far, with the defender having scored twice and created three goals.
With the defence also boosted by the summer arrival of centre-back Thiago Silva, Chelsea have kept seven clean sheets in Chilwell’s games – including five shutouts in their last six games.
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But after arriving at Stamford Bridge, Chilwell needed some advice on how to succeed – and who better to turn to than Cole, who made the left-back berth his own during eight years at the club.
Cole revealed the details of the chat when he was asked for his view of Chilwell’s Chelsea career so far.
Asked how he felt the left-back had started in west London, Cole said: “I think very well. Coming into a young team helped him.
From minute one he was hungry to prove that he was good enough. Whatever the transfer tag, £50milion is big.
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“And that’s what he said to me: ‘I want to come here, hit the ground running, what do I have to do?’.
“And I said ‘listen just keep working hard, want to play for the club, want to win’.
“Straightaway he’s come in and done that. I think Chelsea look defensively better with him. They’ve got that better balance.”
Former England defender Cole epitomised the modern full-back who can attack as well as defend, and he says Chilwell has that same quality.
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“I think he can handle a ball in every area,” said Cole.
“Defensively, middle third he can deal with, and of course attacking wise he’s got a different range of passing. He can shoot. He can combine.”
Cole played for Chelsea from 2006 to 2014, winning the Premier League, the Champions League and the Europa League as well as four FA Cups – having also starred for Arsenal.
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