£40m transfer agreed, Chelsea replacement, poor deals - Ben Chilwell to Man Utd sale verdict

Chelsea vice-captain Ben Chilwell
-Credit: (Image: Julian Finney/Getty Images)

It seems few Chelsea players are out of bounds when it comes to potentially being sold by Todd Boehly. Vice-captain Ben Chilwell is the latest senior player to be linked with an exit.

The former Leicester City left-back is being connected with a move to Manchester United amid their concerns in the position at Old Trafford, with Luke Shaw suffering persistent injuries and Tyrell Malacia yet to play in a full year.

Chelsea are thought to be close to Premier League spending limits, so are said to be willing to consider exits for those who have underwhelmed. Chilwell only played 21 times last season due to three separate significant injuries.

Now 27, the England international is seen as an authoritative figure within a young dressing room with Raheem Sterling the only regular squad member from last season who is older given 39-year-old Thiago Silva has now left.

In this regard, an exit may worry Chelsea supporters albeit few would argue there is an overwhelming clamour for him to stay, as say there is for Conor Gallagher. Our writers have had their say on whether Chelsea should keep or sell Chilwell if an offer comes forward.

Isaac Johnson

While Chilwell has not set the world alight, an exit would still be puzzling given Marc Cucurella has hardly performed better and Levi Colwill is not a natural left-back. He is after all one of only a handful of players over the age of 25.

READ MORE: Chelsea 'reach agreement' for sixth summer transfer

READ MORE: Conor Gallagher's Chelsea exit latest as Spanish club emerges as 'most interested' club

The one thing that was evidently absent from Chelsea was that balance of experience with youth, as seen in the Carabao Cup final, but it seems as though Boehly is taking the opposite route and entrenching himself more in youth development.

This, at the very least, seems risky. Unless a truly irresistible offer arrives from United - which is unlikely given their low spending budget - Chelsea ought to keep hold of Champions League winner Chilwell.

It would also not make sense for the player himself. Shaw, who admittedly has suffered frequent injury setbacks, is clearly the first-choice pick at United while Chilwell - also injury-plagued - is currently the first pick for Chelsea. The situation looks obvious, but then, when have things ever panned out as expected under Boehly?

Tom Coley

12 months ago, suggesting that Chilwell would be sold before Cucurella would have seemed a long way off. 2024 has changed that.

Chilwell has now been out of form and fitness for over two years and is an increasingly large liability. He is still a well-liked character but his body is letting him down. Unless that changes significantly then Chelsea will need a new left-back sooner or later.

There are still questions over Cucurella's long-term suitability to the team having only really excelled for two months at the end of last season. This is still the exception rather than the norm. As for Chilwell, it's hard to know just how good he can be again, because it has been so long since he was reliable throughout an entire season.

Really, why did Chelsea let both Ian Maatsen and Lewis Hall exit? Both deals looked poorly judged at the time and now they are back in the market and with a decision to make over one of their few senior players.

Chilwell can't complain if Chelsea do look to move him on though. It would be a risk to enter the 2024/25 campaign with just him and Cucurella, especially after their fitness issues together last year, so considering an offer would be fine. Anything around £30million may well be pretty hard to turn down.

Kieran Horn

On his day, Ben Chilwell is an excellent footballer but his troubles at Chelsea are hard to look beyond when it comes to his future. Plaguing injury problems has seen Marc Cucurella take his spot in the starting XI and it is highly unlikely he now gets it back with Enzo Maresca in charge.

The former Leicester City boss, having worked with Pep Guardiola, is keen for one of his full-backs to invert and Cucurella certainly appears to be the best fit for that role. Levi Colwill has also proven to be adequate cover in the position and the expected arrivals of Renato Veiga and Caleb Wiley make it difficult to see a way back for Chilwell.

Despite that, United have emerged as a potential destination for the 27-year-old, though interest from Old Trafford is quite surprising with context. Erik ten Hag already has a superb English left-back that has been handed numerous recent injury blows in Shaw so it is not exactly a move that makes sense.

For Chelsea though, it seems a rather simple decision if an offer arrives from Manchester. Having spent £50million to sign him from Leicester City in 2020, it is highly unlikely they recoup much of that however following a contract extension signed last summer, acquiring anything in the region of £35-£40m would be ideal.

Kieran King

With Enzo Maresca arriving as Chelsea boss this summer, their style of football is going to completely change. During his time at Leicester, he did not use traditional full-backs. One would drift into midfield and act as another No.8, while the other would slot across and make a back three.

The million dollar question is does Ben Chilwell fit into that system? I would argue Marc Cucurella and Levi Colwill are better suited to that approach, considering that Cucurella has the ability to slot into midfield and Colwill can act as one of the three centre-backs. On the other side, Reece James and Malo Gusto are able to do the same.

Where does that that leave Chilwell? His game time could be limited under Maresca and therefore Chelsea should look to move him on and recoup at least some of the £50m they paid for him four years ago.

United does seem like an interesting destination, though I don't think the Red Devils should buy him due to his injury record and their need to go for someone more reliable. Another possible destination for Chilwell is away from the Premier League and that could be a more suitable move to help him rejuvenate his career.