Levi Colwill signing is TOO GOOD an opportunity for Liverpool to pass up

Levi Colwill is on an exclusive list of players to have seemingly been courted by Liverpool across multiple summers.

The Reds, if they fail to land a transfer target, tend to move on. But the Merseyside club circled back to Jude Bellingham and Aurlien Tchouameni. They weren’t able to get either player to Anfield but, according to multiple reports, weren’t deterred having failed to sign them during a previous transfer window.

Colwill appears to be back on the club’s agenda, just 12 months after he decided to extend his stay with Chelsea. The 21-year-old, who impressed while on loan with Brighton during the 2022/23 Premier League campaign, was well-liked by Jurgen Klopp and the Liverpool recruitment team. The Reds were reportedly well-positioned to act if the versatile defender decided not to put pen to paper on a new deal at Stamford Bridge.

Eventually, he signed a six-year contract extension with the Blues after positive talks with then manager Mauricio Pochettino. That was supposed to be the end of it.

Yet here we are, one year later, in an almost identical situation. Colwill is set to hold talks with new manager Enzo Maresca as he looks to figure out exactly what his future looks like at Stamford Bridge. The one-cap England international missed out on a place in Gareth Southgate’s Euro 2024 squad after a disappointing 2023/24 campaign with the Blues.

Used primarily as a left-back, Colwill struggled to impress in a transitional Chelsea team. Had he managed to catch the eye, he could well have been starting for England this summer given what has happened with injuries.

Colwill should have been at the Euros

Luke Shaw is only fit enough for the bench while Harry Maguire missed out completely. Colwill could’ve been battling it out for Marc Guehi for a place at centre-back or rivalling Kieran Trippier for a start at left-back.

In the space of 12 months, Colwill went from looking like a dead cert to gatecrash the Euro 2024 squad to being a complete afterthought. And that is likely one of the reasons he’s eager to sit down with Maresca to determine what his future at Stamford Bridge might look like under the Italian tactician.

According to reports, he views himself as a centre-back. But Chelsea aren’t exactly short of defenders. Axel Disasi, Benoit Badiashile, Trevoh Chalobah, Wesley Fofana and Marc Cucurella can all play at centre-back while Malang Sarr also still exists. The Blues can’t be giving out playing guarantees, especially when their owners have a tendency to just go out and sign players on a whim.

Colwill, at his age, needs consistency. At Liverpool, he gets that. There’s a reason Joe Gomez was able to sneak into the England squad this summer while Jarell Quansah was also part of the preliminary squad.

Had the former Brighton loanee made the move to Merseyside last summer, the likelihood is he’s in that England squad in Germany right now.

Why Colwill ticks Liverpool boxes

So, that is why he could be looking to move. But why have the Reds retained an interest in him? Why haven’t they moved on?

Colwill ticks so many boxes for Liverpool.

The 21-year-old suits the David Hancko sort of profile liked by Arne Slot, for starters. He’s adept at centre-back but can also play at left-back if required. There’s a reason the Reds have been linked with those hybrid-type of defenders in Pierro Hincapie and Willian Pacho. They seem to want someone who can play both roles as it gives them more opportunities to rack up first-team minutes.

London, England, 25th February 2024. Levi Colwill of Chelsea during the Carabao Cup match at Wembley Stadium, London. Paul Terry / Sportimage

Colwill has the physical profile to play both roles convincingly. He’s 6ft1, athletic and while he isn’t the quickest, his reading of the game will allow him to get the better of opponents. Being able to learn from the best in Virgil van Dijk will only aid the development of that side of his game.

The Chelsea No.26 being left-footed adds a nice balance to the backline too. With him coming in as an understudy to Van Dijk in the short-term, it frees up Quansah to focus on developing as a right-sided centre-back option in the long-term.

He’s quite progressive in possession and he’s used to playing for a ball-dominant side. Chelsea averaged just shy of 60% possession last term while he was part of a Roberto De Zerbi Brighton team who liked to control possession. In theory, he slots right into Slot’s style of play.

Deceptively good in the air, Colwill has an aerial duel success rate of almost 70% in the Premier League and the number of attempts (3.5 per 90) isn’t too shabby either. He’s good in ground duels too and came out on top in 75% of his tackles against dribblers last term.

Reds can't afford to overlook Colwill

There’s a lot to like about him. Combine all of that with the fact he’s homegrown and has Premier League experience and it is easy to understand why Liverpool’s interest didn’t end last summer.

Is he perfect? No. He’s missed a chunk of games across the past two seasons and has just over 3,000 minutes in the English top flight. But this can be worked on, especially if he’s not having to play every single game. The medical team can help make him stronger and fitter.

We’ve had the why he might leave and explained why Liverpool might still be keen, but why might Chelsea even contemplate selling him?

To put it bluntly, the Blues are running out of homegrown talents to sell in order to balance their books. It feels like a matter of when and not if Colwill is given the same treatment as one of the many youngsters to be sold by the club.

Liverpool have always said they will react to market opportunities and this feels like a great one. The sort you cannot and should not overlook.

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