The Chelsea player set to SUFFER from Maresca’s appointment

Cameron Smith
Cameron Smith
  • Updated: 31 May 2024 06:31 CDT
  • 4 min read
Enzo Maresca, Chelsea
© IMAGO

Leicester City boss Enzo Maresca is on the verge of being appointed as Chelsea’s new manager and his arrival could have drastic consequences for a number of current Blues stars.

The Italian implemented a very possession-heavy style of play at Leicester and he is expected to copy this formula when he joins Chelsea.

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Maresca, who is Pep Guardiola’s former Manchester City assistant, likes to assert control on games and his possession-based approach is as much about maximising attacking prowess as it is maintaining defensive solidity.

READ MORE: Premier League summer transfers 2024 - All the Done Deals

Last season, Leicester lined up in a 4-3-3 on paper, but this transitioned into a 3-2-2-3 attacking shape and a 4-4-2 or a 4-1-4-1 defensive shape.

The main key difference between attack and defence was Maresca’s use of Leicester’s full-backs. One was required to move into midfield in possession (often Ricardo Pereira), while the other tucked inside to form a back three (either Callum Doyle or James Justin).

Maresca is expected to use this tactic when he joins Chelsea and it spells bad news for Blues vice-captain Ben Chilwell.

READ MORE: What Chelsea fans can expect from Enzo Maresca

Why Ben Chilwell may not fit in under Enzo Maresca

Chilwell has a very unique skillset as a left-back and his best attributes are certainly prevalent in a back three system as it allows him to play as a wing-back.

The Englishman’s most dangerous trait is arguably his ability to make intelligent in-behind runs from deep.

Starting from a left-back zone, Chilwell can often go undetected when the ball is on Chelsea’s right flank and a quick switch of play allows him to gallop forward into the final-third.

Ben Chilwell, Chelsea
© IMAGO - Ben Chilwell, Chelsea

He isn’t the best at building out from the back and has never shown the traits necessary to play an inverted full-back role. Furthermore, his attacking tendencies mean he wouldn’t suit moving inside to become a third centre-back in possession.

As a result, Chelsea’s vice captain is at risk of drifting into obscurity under Maresca.

The Italian only has one full season of senior management under his belt and it’s totally plausible that he could alter his tactical blueprint upon joining Chelsea, but that seems slightly unlikely.

Maresca is expected to persist with his favoured system that sees one full-back invert into midfield and the other tuck inside to form a back three.

Chilwell doesn’t suit either role and therefore is at risk of suffering from Maresca’s arrival.

Current ETV
Player image Ben Chilwell
Ben Chilwell

D, M (L)

Chelsea logo

Chelsea

Ben Chilwell
Ben Chilwell

D, M (L)

Chelsea

Chelsea

€25.2M

ETV Range

€18.9M - €31.5M

With Levi Colwill and Benoit Badiashile already at the club, Chelsea’s pursuit of Murillo and Ricciardo Calafiori makes little sense on first viewing. However, both players are ideally suited to playing as a left-back out of possession and a left centre-back in possession.

With the Blues evidently interested in signing a player of this mould, it suggests Maresca is unlikely to alter his preferred shape and it could leave Chilwell on the fringes next season.

Read more about: Premier League, Chelsea, Ben Chilwell

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