Ben Chilwell has revealed his childhood admiration for Chelsea boss Frank Lampard, while also outlining his intent reach similar heights at the club as that of fellow left-back Ashley Cole.
The former Leicester City man joined the Blues on a £50m deal at the end of August and made his debut for the club in the 6-0 thrashing of Barnsley in the Carabao Cup last week, the defender coming off the bench for a brief cameo appearance.
The 23-year-old had risen through the youth ranks at the Foxes, before making his senior debut for the club in a League Cup match in 2015, the Englishman going on to usurp Premier League winner Christian Fuchs as the club’s first-choice left-back.
Now at Stamford Bridge, Chilwell be hoping to build upon what has been an impressive past few seasons in the top-flight and for his country and appears to be relishing the prospect of playing under Chelsea legend Lampard, the Blues manager ‘a big reason’ for the full-back’s decision to move to the club.
“I used to watch England play in the international breaks and, when I was younger, it was more just enjoying watching them,” said Chilwell.
“They had a lot of great players, including the gaffer, but it never crossed my mind that I might play under him in the future!
“I used to enjoy watching him play, he was a great footballer and that was obviously a big reason for me coming here, playing under someone I idolised, watched and respected growing up.”
Another man who also indirectly played a key role in persuading Chilwell to join the club is former England, Chelsea and Arsenal left-back Ashley Cole, the now retired defender ‘a big factor’ in Chilwell’s decision such was the exceptional career forged by Cole at Stamford Bridge.
“Coming to Chelsea, as well as talking to the manager, a big factor for me was Ashley Cole, seeing the career he had here. I want to emulate that.”