Leicester City left-back Ben Chilwell has spoken of Liverpool’s failed move for him five years ago. It’s something that worked out perfectly for all parties.
“I was 17 at the time. My agent was the one dealing with it all, talking to Liverpool and Leicester about the situation,” said Chilwell, per the Echo.
“At the time, I was trying to break into the Under-21 team at Leicester so I was just focused on getting into that and progressing into the first team here.
“Definitely no regrets. When I look at how the last four or five years have gone, starting eight games now for the England team is something I’m very happy with.”
It’s interesting that Chilwell went all the way back to when he was 17 to discuss things. They were reportedly interested since then, too, with the Telegraph saying they made an offer in 2016.
The Reds wanted a new left-back once it was clear that Alberto Moreno wasn’t the answer and would rely on James Milner that season, instead. They’d certainly have preferred Chilwell there but things changed in 2017.
Liverpool gambled on Andy Robertson and, as it turned out, found themselves their perfect left-back. Thanks to Robertson’s incredible rise, the failed move for Chilwell is a good thing – despite his obvious talent.
Chilwell got what he needed at his age. He didn’t have to play with the intense pressure at Liverpool and thus had more game time. He developed better as a result – there’s certainly no guarantee he’d be England’s left-back if he had moved.
Whereas Robertson, at 23 years old, was able to step up into the role. Liverpool needed a player ready for the first-team and they found that in the Scot. He quickly developed in a way that Chilwell couldn’t – from young player to elite player.
Chilwell would have been a smart signing but the failed move worked out better for everyone.