Chelsea are reportedly looking for a new left-back in the summer with Leicester City’s Ben Chilwell and Porto’s Alex Telles being linked to a move to Stamford Bridge.
One of either Emerson Palmieri and Marcos Alonso is likely to leave in the summer as both failed to claim a regular spot under Frank Lampard this season.
According to reports, Chelsea have identified Chilwell as the number one target (Metro). But the Blues have also listed some alternatives, in case the pursuit of the Leicester City defender meets a dead end.
One of those alternatives is Telles. Portuguese publication A Bola has recently claimed Chelsea are already in talks with Porto for the Brazilian.
Being four years younger, Chilwell (23) will have a higher potential resale value compared to Telles (27).
However, Chelsea will likely have to pay a bigger fee for Chilwell compared to Telles. While Chilwell is under contract with Leicester until 2024, Telles’ deal with Porto will run out in summer 2021.
Reports suggest Chilwell will cost Chelsea around £50 million (Daily Star). On the other hand, Telles has a £36.5m (€40m) release clause, but with his contract in its final 18 months, Porto will possibly sell for a lower fee (Daily Star).
On-pitch performance comparison
Defensively, Chilwell is slightly better than Telles. Chilwell won more tackles per game (1.6 to Telles’ 1.2), more clearances per game (2 to 1.2) and more headers (2.2 to 1.7).
Meanwhile, Telles had the edge in interceptions (1.5 per game to Chilwell’s 1.1) and in facing advancing opponents (Telles was dribbled past 0.7 times per game on average to Chilwell’s one per game).
Offensively is where the biggest difference lies.
Telles has scored eight goals and provided five assists in Primeira Liga, significantly above Chilwell’s two goals and three assists in the Premier League.
Those numbers were not coincidental. Telles provided more crosses per game (2.3 to Chilwell’s 0.7), more key passes per game (2 to 1.2) and had more shots per game (1.4 to 0.6) this season.
Although it must be taken into account that Telles plays for a dominant Porto side in Portugal.
How long it would take for Telles to adjust to the Premier League if Chelsea were to sign him should also be taken into consideration. On the contrary, Chilwell is well adapted to the league and could be relied upon from the start of the season.
In summary, bringing Telles will be more of a gamble but at the same time, he could be a cheaper (and even better) alternative to Chilwell. But if Chelsea want a safer, long-term option, persuading Leicester to sell Chilwell is the way to go.