A year ago at this time, it appeared as though Chelsea were going to be facing a crisis in the center of their defensive unit. There was a good chance that none of Thiago Silva, Andreas Christensen, or Antonio Rudiger would be offered an extension to their respective contracts as they were all approaching the final six months of their current accords.
After some time, Christensen and Rudiger quit their jobs without pay, leaving Todd Boehly and his colleagues with the difficult task of finding suitable replacements upon their arrival in the wake of the takeover. It was decided to sign Kalidou Koulibaly, Wesley Fofana, and Marc Cucurella, and all three of them have appeared for Chelsea this season in the back three. Although none of the players have gotten off to a great start for Chelsea despite the club’s struggles, the Blues paid a total of £165 million to acquire the quality players they needed.
Silva, on the other hand, has clocked more minutes in the Premier League than any other Chelsea player during this season. Silva, who recently turned 38, is also approaching the final six months of his contract for a second time. The Brazilian player, who is participating in the World Cup right now, dropped hints that negotiations for a contract may start either before or after the tournament, but he did admit that he hoped to have his future determined so that he could begin to plan for what comes next.
During the summer, the Blues trained with their first team, which included two players who were qualified to play in the central defense position. Since then, both Levi Colwill and Ethan Ampadu have been loaned out to other clubs rather than spending the season at Stamford Bridge since Thomas Tuchel has decided to bring in other players.
Colwill did some training at the center of the defense during that time period, but his preparations were hampered by an injury, and in the end, his path lay away from the club for the remainder of this season. However, the higher-ups at Chelsea did not want to even contemplate the possibility of a permanent deal, so they decided to send the young player to Brighton on loan instead.
Since his arrival at the Amex Stadium, the 19-year-old has had to contend with a change in head coaches and some extremely in-form competition; yet, he has made three starts, including the Seagulls’ final two matches before the World Cup break. Colwill could be in a good position to compete when the Premier League resumes play because he has received rave evaluations for his performances when playing alongside Robert de Zerbi as the left-sided member of a centre-back duo.
However, the news of his departure from west London came as a shock to a figure who arguably knew Colwill’s qualities better than the majority of people. The Huddersfield sporting director Leigh Bromby, who was responsible for bringing the defender to the Terries on loan the previous season, thinks that Brighton is a good destination for the product of Cobham, but he feels that he will eventually find himself in the first team.
He told the Athletic: “I’m surprised he’s not involved with Chelsea, but this is a logical step to go on loan in the Premier League and then make that transition to the first team. I know the boy is really ambitious and wants to play. He’s very intelligent and he knows he needs to go and play again this season.
“It looks, on paper, like a fantastic move, a great fit for him. If he does well this year, you can see him naturally going and playing for Chelsea and being a regular there.”
Colwill will have another shot at it the following summer, despite the fact that this past summer demonstrated how difficult it would be for a defender to break through, given the club’s propensity to spend money initially in order to strengthen. He will almost certainly be reassured that Graham Potter was happy to sign him in the summer, and the opportunity to evaluate him for an extended period of time will be presented to him.
Despite this, Chelsea has continued to be linked to players like Josko Gvardiol despite the business that took place over the summer. When one strives to make the Blues’ first team, they are faced with a never-ending series of challenges. Nevertheless, Bromby is of the opinion that Colwill’s talent and potential make him stand out.
He added: “There aren’t many left-footed centre-backs. He’s got a great chance. I think he’s got a big future ahead.
“Did we expect him to hit the levels he did? There was a real confidence because we told the coaches you’ll either be the coaches that played a future England international or the ones when he’s telling his story to the media that didn’t play him. We were pretty confident that he’s going to be a top player.”
The business Chelsea complete going forward will signal their confidence in Colwill’s ability. Not allowing the youngster to depart permanently in August was an obvious decision to make as well as a vote of confidence. If Silva does depart, the Blues’ next move may be more telling for the former Huddersfield loanee whose contract expires in 2025.