He may not have featured for England at the European Championships yet, but Chelsea’s Ben Chilwell has been praised for his role in making the Three Lions successful.
The Blues’ full-back is yet to make an appearance at the tournament as England have reached the semi-finals of the tournament, after thrashing Ukraine 4-0 in Rome to set up a last four clash with Denmark at Wembley.
Chilwell did miss the Three Lions’ last group stage match against Czech Republic after he and Chelsea team-mate Mason Mount were deemed to have been in close contact with Blues midfielder Billy Gilmour at Wembley after England’s draw with Scotland last month, with Gilmour testing positive for COVID-19.
As a result, both Chilwell and Mount went into self-isolation, despite testing negative themselves.
Mount returned to the bench for the last 16 tie with Germany on Tuesday and was an unused substitute, before starting against Ukraine, while Chilwell was among the substitutes in Rome, but did not feature as England won 4-0.
But England boss Gareth Southgate has heaped praise on Chilwell and other members of the squad who have not yet featured during the tournament for the role they have played behind the scenes.
Speaking to EuroJournal, Southgate said: “The players have been fantastic. To play as well as they did in a game where there’s so much resting on it was really impressive.
“It’s a strange feeling. I’m actually, at this moment, thinking of the players that didn’t get on the pitch because the likes of Conor Coady, Ben Chilwell, Sam Johnstone, Aaron Ramsdale – they’re the ones that are making this team successful because the spirit of this group is phenomenal. Whoever comes in does the job.
“I’m spending more energy worrying about the three I have to leave out of the 26 because they’re all good players, none of them deserve to be left out, they’re all giving everything in training, so none of it is because I don’t think they’re up to the level. But we have got to make those decisions, the right call for the right game, the right system, but all of the players have been brilliant.”
The summer window is officially open and now the Blues can look to build on European glory and bolster the squad to push for Premier League supremacy.
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Chilwell will hope he gets an opportunity against Denmark at Wembley on Wednesday, although EuroJournal’s Luke Shaw has impressed at left-back, providing two assists in the win against Ukraine.
Meanwhile, Mount has said he is relishing a return to Wembley for the semi-final, with a message for England fans ahead of the semi-final.
“It’s going to be a special day with a few more fans there to create that atmosphere,” he said.
“You’re in the lions den and you have to come and really perform.”