What Chelsea fans can expect from Caleb Wiley

Tom Weber
Tom Weber
  • 22 Jul 2024 09:21 CDT
  • 4 min read
Caleb Wiley, Chelsea

Caleb Wiley has joined Chelsea as the club's official website has announced.

Article continues under the video

The club's website has announced that Wiley has signed a six year contract with the club and now joins Enzo Maresca's side. The expectation is that Wiley will go out on loan to Strasbourgh before joining up with the Blues - although there has been no confirmation of that just yet.

Wiley thus becomes the latest talented youngster signed by Chelsea this summer after Omari Kellyman, Marc Guiu and the soon-to-be-announced Renato Veiga. The latter, like the United States men's national team starlet, is a left-sided player and is expected to play at left-back for Chelsea.

So, it begs the question, why are Chelsea signing two young, high-potential left-backs in the same window? Obviously, Wiley will spend his first season in Europe on loan at Strasbourg, while Veiga is expected to be kept around the Blues first team straight away.

But what happens when Wiley returns from his stint in Alsace? Let's investigate.

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Current ETV
Player image C. Wiley
C. Wiley

D, M (L)

Atlanta United logo

Atlanta United

C. Wiley
C. Wiley

D, M (L)

Atlanta United

Atlanta United


ETV Range

€2.7M - €4.5M

Wiley a more traditional left-back

The first thing that needs to be mentioned when comparing Wiley and Veiga is that the former is a much more traditional left-back than the latter. While Veiga is a defensive all-rounded who can also play centre-back and defensive midfield, Wiley is a typical wide player who can also be used further forward on the wing.

So, despite likely playing in the same position at Stamford Bridge, the two are very different profiles of players. Veiga is a more physical, defensive-minded presence, whereas Wiley is a marauding full-back who loves to get involved in the attack.

However, Wiley himself is no slouch when it comes to physicality. Though he doesn't tower above his teammates like Veiga, the 180cm (5ft 11in) American is a great athlete and already quite muscular for his tender 19 years.

Moreover, Wiley is rapid, which will add another dimension to Chelsea's game compared to Veiga. However, despite being a more traditional full-back, the teenager is capable of playing the more modern game of inversion, though perhaps not in the defensive sense.

During his time at Atlanta, Wiley was often seen moving infield and the fact that he is comfortable in and out of possession in the middle of the park will surely have played a crucial role in the decision to sign him - after all, it was one of the main reasons why Veiga was signed.

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Wiley's pedigree and stats

Wiley is regarded as one of the biggest talents in the USMNT pool and already has two senior caps to his name at 19. The full-back enjoyed a real breakout campaign in 2023, tallying four goals and four assists across the MLS regular season and the playoffs.

Due to Atlanta enduring a miserable season this time around, Wiley hasn't been able to match this output in 2024, but it was inevitable that he would eventually get his move to Europe. Last year, he came ninth on MLS's 22 under 22 list, which ranks the league's biggest prospects under the age of 22.

According to data analytics firm SciSports, Wiley has the potential to become a key player for Chelsea in the future. In fact, if the American manages to reach his ceiling, he will become better than any of the Blues' current left-back options, including Veiga.

Wiley ranks sixth in SciSports' database of left-backs aged 20 or younger when it comes to potential, so it is clear that Chelsea (and Strasbourg) are getting themselves an eminently exciting player.

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