Ben Chilwell shirt number – Options available to new Chelsea signing after £50m deal
Chelsea have made Ben Chilwell their third signing of the summer, snapping up the left-back in a £50million deal from Leicester. The England international was unveiled on Wednesday but it remains to be seen what number the 23-year-old will pull on during his first game for the Blues.
Chilwell is the latest in a string of signings as part of Frank Lampard’s squad overhaul at Chelsea.
The Blues manager is keen to freshen up his options after a fourth-place finish in the Premier League last term, with his side ending the campaign 33 points behind champions Liverpool.
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Chelsea were also thoroughly hammered by Bayern Munich in the Champions League while they experienced heartache in the FA Cup final against Arsenal, so Lampard is desperate to ring the changes.
Deals for Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner were already secured before the transfer window opened, while Chilwell is the first of several defensive reinforcements expected this summer.
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The west London club also want a new centre-back and a replacement for out-of-favour goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga, while a move for Kai Havertz is expected to be completed this week.
Chilwell was all smiles as he posed for photos following the announcement of his transfer, although it was not possible to see a number on the shirt he was holding.
This is potentially because Chelsea are holding off allocating squad numbers until more transfer business has been done, with several departures expected this summer.
Chilwell occupied No 3 at the King Power stadium but would have to wrestle the jersey from current incumbent Marcos Alonso, unless the Spaniard moves on this summer.
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However, it is looking likely that the full-back stays put and acts as back-up to Chilwell with Emerson Palmieri the more likely departure.
The Italian full-back, valued at £27m by Chelsea, has been linked with a move to Inter Milan and a reunion with former Blues boss Antonio Conte.
That would free up the No 33 for Chilwell while No 27, No 30 and No 32 are all vacant.
No 6 is technically claimed by midfielder Danny Drinkwater, who spent last season on loan at Aston Villa, but is expected to become vacant if Chilwell’s old team-mate moves on.
Willian (No 10) and Pedro (No 11) have both left the club on free transfers but their shirts appear to be lined up for Ziyech and Werner respectively.
No 14 and No 16 are likely to become options if Tiemoue Bakayoko joins AC Milan and Kenedy is permanently offloaded, while Davide Zappacosta will give up No 21 if he moves on.
Finally, No 25 and No 26 are technically up for grabs but it appears that Chelsea have unofficially retired the iconic shirts after the exploits of Gianfranco Zola and John Terry.
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