Sunday, January 29, 2023

Chelsea In Contention To Sign Championship Starlet: The Right Choice By Tuchel?

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Jack O’Brien
A 22 y/o football nerd seeking my way into football writing. I love Irish football and also the Premier League. A huge Arsenal fan! Aside from writing, I like to spend my time fishing and drinking beer.

According to The Sun, Chelsea are among the clubs keeping close tabs on Ashley Phillips. The Blackburn Rovers youngster has emerged as a hot prospect in English football, with many clubs closely monitoring his development in the youth competitions. Chelsea are one of the teams keen on securing his services in the summer, although they are set to face stiff competition from Manchester United.

Who Is Ashley Phillips?

A centre-back by trade, Ashley Phillips is regarded as one of the best young talents to come out of the Blackburn Academy in years. The youngster has made a solid impression with his performances in the youth leagues, becoming one of the brightest prospects in the Championship.

The 16-year-old is primarily known for his no-nonsense defensive traits, which are coupled with athleticism and aggression, making him a sought-after prospect in the second division.

Phillips is currently a member of the Blackburn U18 setup. And although he is yet to make his breakthrough in professional football, the youngster has already featured for the reserve side in the Elite Development League. In addition, the defender has represented England at the youth level and is certainly one for the future, as he looks to soon take the next step in his career.

Chelsea (tuchel)
Chelsea’s German head coach Thomas Tuchel gestures from the side-lines during the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Brighton and Hove Albion at Stamford Bridge in London on December 29, 2021. – RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or ‘live’ services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. (Photo by Glyn KIRK / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or ‘live’ services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or ‘live’ services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. (Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images)
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Is He A Good Option For Chelsea?

Chelsea were among the quietest teams in the Premier League in the recently concluded January transfer window, which was quite surprising given they are bracing themselves for a mass exodus in the defensive department in the summer.

However, despite failing to sign a single player, the Blues had showcased a lot of enthusiasm for strengthening their ranks in the youth department. The club had notably brought in Dylan Williams from Derby County and are gunning for several other talented youngsters across Europe outside of the transfer market.

The addition of someone like Ashley Phillips, to that end, could prove to be a smart investment from Chelsea’s perspective. With up to four central defenders set to become free agents in the summer, the club cannot remain fully dependent on the market and young individuals like Trevoh Chalobah to emerge as automatic replacements.

Although Phillips may not have the experience of top-flight football, he certainly has the talent of becoming a top-class defender in the Premier League. And with time on his side, the Blackburn starlet could indeed be a wide investment for the Blues next season.

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