Ben Chilwell was thrilled to finally play his first Chelsea game last night and hopes he has done enough to be involved in the squad on Saturday, when the Blues travel to West Bromwich Albion.
The left-back, a summer signing from Leicester, was given a run-out by Frank Lampard last night in our 6-0 Carabao Cup victory over Barnsley, having had to remain patient for a first outing due to a troublesome heel injury sustained last season.
Chilwell came on for the final 30 minutes, something he had agreed with our head coach beforehand, and marked his debut by setting up Olivier Giroud to score our sixth in the big win.
A Kai Havertz hat-trick and further strikes from England internationals Tammy Abraham and Ross Barkley secured our passage into round four, much to the delight of our No.21.
‘I feel happy,’ said a beaming Ben after the game. ‘It was my first set of match minutes for a while, so I’m really pleased and of course absolutely delighted to make my Chelsea debut.
‘It was good to come on in a game like that, where the boys were playing well. Matches are what I need, to get my fitness up, so I was pleased to get out there. You can train as much as you want, but playing in a game is totally different so I was really pleased to be out there.
‘To get up to speed, you need to be playing matches and I think this game was important for me in that regard. The gaffer spoke to me before the game and he told me that he wanted to bring me on for 30 minutes or so to try and get up to speed, so I was really pleased to be able to do that.’
After coming through 30 minutes or so unscathed during our win over the Tykes last night, could we see a first Premier League outing in Chelsea blue for our left-back against West Brom this weekend?
‘That’s not my decision,’ he said. ‘That’s up to the gaffer. Of course, I’d like to say that I’m ready for 90 minutes but it’s up to the manager to choose his team.
‘It’s a competitive squad this season and everyone trains hard, so I’m sure the gaffer will pick what he feels is the strongest team for the weekend.’
It was quite a cameo for Chilwell, who marked his Blues debut with an assist in the 6-0 win. His left-wing cross picked out Olivier Giroud who, true to form, made no mistake by nodding home our sixth goal.
For Chilwell, he was delighted to make an impact and praised our French striker for getting on the end of his cross.
‘I’ve seen Oli score goals like that for years in the Premier League, so I knew if I got in a good cross he would be on the end of it.
‘He’s done it for years in the Premier League and even in training, he’s exactly the same. So I just looked to swing in a good ball into the right area and he’d be there. We’ve got some really good strikers at this club, so as long as we provide them with good service, then I’m sure there will be many more goals like that over the season.’