Whilst Frank Lampard has done a great job at strengthening his youthful side at Stamford Bridge, the problem area at left-back still very much exists.
Neither Marcos Alonso nor Emerson have demonstrated enough this season to justify a starting berth at full-back, yet the lack of options mean they have rotated over the past two seasons.
Although neither are poor full-backs, Alonso is far better as a wing-back, a system that Lampard rarely uses, and Emerson hasn’t quite been able to shake off the feeling that he needs to be replaced at the earliest convenience.
It’s clear that addressing this issue is one of high priority for the Blues, and despite Cesar Azpilicueta’s incredible versatility, it looks as though a new signing at left-back may be exactly what Chelsea need to push onto the next level.
OPTION 1: Ben Chilwell (23)
It’s been clear for months that Ben Chilwell is destined to leave Leicester this summer, and suitors haven’t been in short supply, with both Chelsea, and recently Manchester City said to be very interested in his signature, which has been rumoured at costing a ridiculous £80m.
A homegrown talent, Chilwell would seamlessly slide into both starting XIs, and although reports have suggested the fee would be closer to £50m, it’s still a lot of money for a full-back.
Chilwell’s 2.0 completed tackles and interceptions P90 is, in fact, lower than all of Chelsea’s current left-back options; Alonso completes 2.7, Emerson 2.6 and Cesar Azpilicueta is at 3.3. His 2.1 aerial wins P90 is lower than Alonso’s 3, although he does have a better success rate than the Spaniard (63.4% to 58.5%).
One of Chilwell’s excelling qualities is his progressive passing; he completes 9.6 P90 with a 72.9% success rate, but both of those numbers are actually bettered by Azpilicueta and Alonso this season.
Furthermore, Chilwell’s xA P90 of 0.12 ranks below all of the Blues’ current left-back options, and it’s clear that in this regard he is far inferior to Leicester’s other full-back, Ricardo Pereira.
The England international is very clearly a talented full-back, and definitely has age on his side, but his valuation by Leicester is high, and unless Chelsea can reduce the asking price to £35-40m, he may not be worth the money.
OPTION 2: Nicolas Tagliafico (27)
Ajax’s Nicolas Tagliafico has proven himself on the European stage in recent years, and was excellent in his side’s run to the Champions League semi-finals in 2018/19.
He’s been linked with a move away from the Dutch capital in the past few weeks, and rumours have suggested he may follow current team-mate Hakim Ziyech to Stamford Bridge this summer.
Tagliafico has averaged 3.0 completed tackles and interceptions in the Eredivisie in 19/20, a tally that rises to a huge 5.0 in the Champions League.
A very competent one-on-one defender, Tagliafico is also dangerous going the other way, with three goals and four assists in the Dutch league this campaign.
His 9.3 progressive passes with an 83.2% success rate falls very close to Chilwell’s, and although he is competing in an inferior league, his performances in the Champions League can ease any concerns that he couldn’t translate this form in the Premier League.
OPTION 3: Alex Telles (27)
Telles’ most prominent quality is his attacking credentials, with the Brazilian completing a huge 9.6 crosses P90 this season, which would rank third in the entire Premier League, behind only Trent Alexander-Arnold and Kevin De Bruyne.
Telles has scored eight goals (five penalties) and laid on six assists in the league this season, and his xA P90 of 0.23 is better than the likes of Liverpool's Andrew Robertson at 0.22.
A two-way full-back, Telles still completes 2.8 tackles and interceptions P90, more than both Alonso and Emerson, and his 2.2 key passes P90 is only slightly behind the aforementioned Alexander-Arnold’s 2.6.
Furthermore, his 9.2 progressive passes, completed at a 76.1% accuracy, is on par with Chilwell’s, demonstrating he would be more than capable of filling the hole in Chelsea’s backline.
OPTION 4: Sergio Reguilon (23)
On loan from Real Madrid, Sergio Reguilon has excelled for Sevilla this season, but with the likes of Ferland Mendy, Marcelo and the returning Achraf Hakimi all options at left-back for Los Blancos next campaign, he’s likely to seek a permanent move away.
Reguilon, like Chilwell, is just 23, and is already performing in a top league, clear evidence that he’d be able to transfer his form over to the Premier League.
He’s making 2.6 successful tackles and interceptions P90 this season, and unlike the options Chelsea currently have, Reguilon is a full-back who’s exceptional in defence, transition, and attack.
Reguilon completes 4.4 crosses P90 in La Liga, and his 10.9 progressive passes P90 is better than the aforementioned Hakimi’s 9.6.
Part of a Sevilla side that currently sit 3rd in La Liga, Reguilon’s 0.20 xA P90, amassed in one of Europe’s Top Five leagues, is very impressive.
Whilst Reguilon’s aerial ability is less prominent than Chilwell’s, winning only 42.9% of his aerial duels, his attributes on the ball are even more impressive than the Englishman’s, completing 1.6 dribbles P90 in comparison to Chilwell’s mediocre 0.6.
Although Chilwell would add to the English core at Stamford Bridge, Leicester’s asking price means that Sergio Reguilon seems like the more sensible, and value-for-money option, with his likely fee closer to the £20-30m mark.