- England defender Ben Chilwell signs new long-term deal with Leicester City
- Foxes Academy graduate commits to June 2024
- Chilwell continues journey with Leicester that began aged 12
- Left back excited by Club’s future plans and squad’s potential
- Manager Claude Puel backs Chilwell to get even better
Ben, 21, has agreed terms with the Foxes until June 2024, extending an association with Leicester City than goes back to 2009, when he joined the Club’s Academy aged 12.
The Milton Keynes-born full-back has excelled at every age-group since, establishing himself as a first team regular in the last 12 months under Claude Puel and winning his first senior England caps this season.
He returned to Leicester City training this week after helping England to an impressive victory over Spain in Seville on Monday night.
Ben told LCFC.com: “Leicester’s always felt like the right place for me. I’ve had fantastic support at every level since I arrived nine years ago and I’ve always felt opportunities would come if I continued to work hard. That’s a great feeling to have as a young player.
“The Club has really big, long-term plans and it’s really exciting to know that I’m going to be part of that. We’ve got a great squad with quite a youthful core so there’s a real opportunity for us to push on and achieve something together in the coming years.”
Delighted to sign a new long-term contract with @LCFC. I want to thank the owner, the manager, my teammates, the backroom staff, my family and the fans for their incredible support. I am really excited to continue my journey at this great club. Onwards and upwards. 🔵🦊 pic.twitter.com/bDr2XpRbGj— Ben Chilwell (@BenChilwell) October 20, 2018
Leicester City manager Claude Puel said: “It’s great news for the Club. Ben is an exciting young player with huge potential who is already learning and improving by playing regular Premier League football. If he continues to work hard he will become a valuable player for us and I hope for the England team.
“He is already an example for the young players of our Academy, highlights the excellent work within it and validates the project of the Club.”
Ben’s journey from Academy hopeful to Premier League regular and England international has been a story of undoubted talent, single-minded determination and admirable maturity during a time of evolution for Leicester City.
A stand-out talent throughout his time in the Foxes Academy, it appeared only a matter of time before Chilwell made the breakthrough into first team football. He made his Foxes debut with an accomplished showing at Hull City in the League Cup in October 2015, before a brief but impressive loan spell in the Championship with Huddersfield Town.
In the wake of City’s 2016 title win, Chilwell had to be patient for his Premier League debut, which arrived at home to Everton in December just a few weeks after a UEFA Champions League bow in FC Porto’s Estádio do Dragão. A further 11 Premier League appearances followed that season, but it was Ben’s fearless, buccaneering display as a second-half substitute during a spirited Champions League Quarter-Final Second Leg against Atlético Madrid that truly caught the eye.
Leicester’s always felt like the right place for me. I’ve had fantastic support at every level since I arrived nine years ago and I’ve always felt opportunities would come if I continued to work hard. That’s a great feeling to have as a young player.Ben Chilwell
In the time since, Chilwell has set about making City’s left back berth his own, supplementing his outstanding technical qualities with ambitious attacking instincts, underpinned by a remarkable level of physical conditioning. He has played every minute of City’s 2018/19 Premier League campaign to date, taking his top-flight appearance tally to 44.
Having featured for England at Under-18, Under-19, Under-20 and Under-21 level, Ben’s early-season form this term saw him complete the pathway to Gareth Southgate’s senior squad in September – a call-up that saw him make a fairy-tale England debut on home turf at King Power Stadium against Switzerland. He was the first City Academy graduate to make his England debut since Emile Heskey in 1999.
Ben was recalled to Southgate’s squad for the October internationals and played 90 minutes in both the away draw with Croatia and the away victory against Spain in the UEFA Nations League, further strengthening his reputation as one of the country’s outstanding defenders.
He rejoined his City team-mates on Thursday to resume preparations for Monday night’s trip to Emirates Stadium, as the Foxes’ Premier League campaign continues against Arsenal.
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