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Chelsea already dealt major £26m Ben Chilwell transfer blow ahead of Enzo Maresca dilemma

Ben Chilwell on the ball during the Emirates FA Cup Semi Final match between Manchester City and Chelsea at Wembley Stadium.
-Credit: (Image: Ed Sykes/Sportsphoto/Allstar via Getty Images)


Enzo Maresca has a few transfer decisions to make between now and the end of the transfer window.

The new Chelsea head coach started work with the first batch of players returning to pre-season today (Monday), as he looks to implement his own style. The Blues have already been active in the transfer market as they look to bring in players who will fit the Italian’s philosophy.

There has already been a few incomings and outgoings, and there is expected to be some more in the coming weeks. One player who may have an uncertain future is Ben Chilwell.

Reports last week suggested that Chelsea could be open to a sale should a bid come in for the full-back this summer. It has now been reported by the Daily Mail that Manchester United are ‘considering’ a move for the 27-year-old to provide competition to Luke Shaw.

Chilwell had an injury-hit 2023-24 season meaning he made just 13 appearances in the Premier League. He returned to Cobham early this summer in preparation for the new season, and will look to impress in pre-season.

But there is some doubt over whether Chilwell will have the skills required to play Maresca’s preferred system, which sees a full-back from one side inverted while the other moves across to make a back three. It’s the case that he is likely to be behind Marc Cucurella in the pecking order, with the Spaniard impressing in the inverted position towards the end of last season.

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It therefore leaves the new Chelsea boss with a decision to make over Chilwell. And that will not be helped when looking at the player’s current transfer value.

According to Transfermarkt, the full-back’s current market value stands at €28 million (£23.6m). That’s a £26 million drop off from the £50 million that Chelsea paid Leicester City for the player back in the summer of 2020.

Given the injury problems that Chilwell had last season, it may not have been expected that the club would get back the full £50 million if they were to cash in this summer. But to get less than half of that fee is a significant drop-off for a player who should now be at the peak of his career.

With three years remaining on his current contract, the choice Chelsea have to make is whether they think his value could increase again in the coming seasons. If that’s the case, then they may decide to keep hold of him, but if not, then they may just decide to cut their losses and cash in this summer.