According to Mirror, Ian Wright believes that Arsenal should pursue Leicester City defender Ben Chilwell this summer. The left-back has attracted a lot of interest across England thanks to his consistent performances for the Foxes in the recently concluded Premier League campaign.
When asked about Arsenal’s activity in the transfer market, the former club legend said, “Someone like Ben Chilwell. He is the kind of left-back who is getting better with every game. He’s an England international now. Somebody that I’m sure is going to be sought after.”
A great fit for Arsenal
We have to agree with Wright here given the season Chilwell has had this term. The young defender was critical to Foxes’ excellent campaign that saw them make an impressive comeback under Brendan Rodgers to finish ninth in the league table. Chilwell was involved in 35 matches, during which he mustered four assists.
But, his overall impact has been far greater. For one, the 22-year-old was pivotal in Leicester City’s build-up play, despite attaining a pass completion rate of just 72%. That score will surely improve in an Arsenal side that prefers to play with heaps of possession.
Furthermore, Chilwell is proficient when it comes to set-pieces. This, in combination, with his aggression, makes him a tailor-made fit for Unai Emery’s tactical philosophy, which requires immense work-ethic. Chilwell has averaged 1.5 tackles per game this season with an impressive success rate of 62%.
However, what makes Chilwell such an appealing target for Arsenal is his youthful exuberance. At the age of 22, the Leicester City star will provide a prospect for the future as well as quality to the Arsenal backline. Hence, he could be a smart addition to the team.
Arsenal’s financial woes
It was earlier reported Emery would be handed a meagre £40 million this summer, should he fail to guide his team to the Champions League next season. That means they have to win against Chelsea in the Europa League final later this month, having finished sixth in the league this season. Therefore, Arsenal’s financial shortcomings could cripple them in their pursuit of Chilwell, who is likely to cost over £50 million.
However, they might be able to afford him, especially if they win against Chelsea. But, it could force Emery to get rid of a lot of star players including Mesut Ozil and Henrikh Mkhitaryan. And that is unlikely given his side’s lack of depth in the attacking department. Ozil, himself, has also confirmed that he will be staying at the club next season.
Hence, Chilwell remains a far-fetched transfer target for Arsenal for now. But, he is, without a doubt, a tailor-made fit for the Gunners’ footballing philosophy and is destined to prosper under the tutelage of Emery.
Stat courtesy: Whoscored