Musings about Ben Chilwell as an FPL Asset, the Chelsea left-back attacking forays, and the reasons behind his low FPL ownership.
Ben Chilwell (£5.5m) is in the drafts of 8.5% of the managers at the time of writing. The low ownership is a surprising number owing to his performances in the pre-season under new manager Pochettino.
The left-back seems to be more popular among the more engaged managers of the game. He is unlikely perhaps to leave from many of those drafts with the type of performances he is showcasing. Why do then so many fewer managers are willing to go for Chilwell as an FPL asset from the start?
Chilwell has been operating almost as a winger for Pochettino with the Argentine allowing the left-back the license to be with the forward lines.
The left-back has been linking up well with Nkunku (£7.5m) in the games since the French forward’s arrival.
Chelsea’s style of play under Pochettino right now seems to be focused on Nkunku staying in and around the center of the box and Chilwell supplying him with the delivery. The pair has all the signs of a blossoming and fruitful relationship for the coming season.
There might be preconceived notions and opinions about Ben Chilwell being injury prone. This can be a possible deterrent factor for many FPL managers making them look at other options at a similar price bracket.
Unlike Reece James on the other side, arguments can be made, Chilwell has had one bad injury and there were follow-up injuries from that including a continued case of what appeared to be an issue of injury-related mental worries. He will certainly be looking to leave those injury woes behind this time around.
Speaking about his attacking role in the team, Chilwell mentioned, “The manager wanted me to get forward as much as possible, it’s also my game to get as forward as possible. The spaces were there, and I tried to exploit that.”
The main dilemma for many FPL managers seems to be in between Estupinan (£5m) playing for Brighton and Ben Chilwell.
Estupinan’s first home game of the season against Luton Town at home whilst Chelsea takes on Liverpool has largely tipped the scales in the Brighton defender’s favor.
Estupinan is in 51% of the drafts at the time of writing, the most popular defender in the game. FPL managers opting for Chilwell will likely have to place the Englishman in a benching role for their game-week 1 squad given the Chelsea fixture. These are facts that are flying on the surface.
However, a more nuanced approach brings a much better light on Chilwell as a pick.
Estupinan’s huge single-week score towards the end of last season was largely an anomaly. The defender posted attacking numbers of less than 0.15xG throughout, otherwise.
Brighton’s heart of the defense, the Seagulls captain Dunk has largely been absent in all of the pre-season so far and the Brighton squad is riddled with multiple injuries in defense.
Outside of the game against Luton Town, Brighton doesn’t post statistically great numbers of keeping a clean sheet.
Chilwell is the primary corner set-piece taker for Chelsea. He has a way higher in comparison to both xG and xA along with the fixtures turning greatly beneficial for Chelsea post game-week 2.
If last season is to be considered as an exception, Chilwell plays for a better team than Brighton, and with a better defense likely to keep more clean sheets.
The popular narrative of buying Chilwell in game week 3 can fail if there are other injuries in place or a player not popular in many squads takes off accompanied by a rise in price raising an immediate need for buying.
Also, going Chilwell from the start saves a transfer. The Chelsea left-back barring injuries can be a season-keeper for the coming campaign.
The low ownership presents the opportunity for a great upside and early advantage and taking punts on defense has little chance of going wrong, particularly at the start.