It is said home is where the heart is. That may well be the case but for Levi Colwill, there will always be a small place in his heart for Chicago too.

After two successful loan spells at Huddersfield Town and Brighton & Hove Albion during the previous two seasons, the summer of 2023 saw Colwill's integration as a fully-fledged member of Chelsea's first team.

Hot on the heels of helping Brighton to their highest ever Premier League finish and playing a crucial role in England winning their first Under-21 EUROs for 39 years, Colwill was part of a young and exciting Chelsea squad which travelled to the USA for pre-season last summer.

It was there, in Chicago, where Colwill signed a dream six-year contract, with the option of a seventh year, for the club he had first trained with as an eight-year-old boy.

The hugely-talented defender took to the streets of Chicago for a photoshoot to mark the occasion and whilst the 2024 US Tour will not be returning to central Chicago and Soldier Field this time around, the Blues will be facing Celtic less than an hour and a half away this summer at the Notre Dame Stadium in Indiana.

Colwill said: 'I definitely have special memories from Chicago. Obviously that is where I signed my contract so it's always going to have a place in my heart.

‘One day when I go back there, it will be good to go and look at where I took the pictures and things like that, and it will be a good place to just remember the good feelings I had.’

He continued: ‘I’ve got great memories from last summer. It was just a really good pre-season for me and the team and obviously also I have the memory of signing my new contract in America, so I can't wait to go back.'

The Blues will ramp up our preparations for the 2024/25 campaign across America once again in late July as the men's team visit five cities in five states, with high-profile matches at every stop.

Our first is against Wrexham at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California, on July 24 before the clash with Celtic at Notre Dame Stadium on 27 July.

Our third contest comes against Club America at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia, before facing Manchester City at the Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio, on August 3.

The men's team tour will then finish at the Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina on August 6 against the reigning Champions League winners Real Madrid.

And Colwill can't wait to see the Blues fans out Stateside once again.

‘It’s amazing the amount of fans we’ve got out there and how they support us,' Colwill said.

‘I think the major difference between the English and US fans was the difference in chants, but they are both really passionate. There's also a lot of similarities as well, so the US fans are great.

‘Going out there for the first time, it was a real surprise to see them all - a good surprise - and hopefully we see them again this summer.’

Colwill was to follow his new contract last summer with at an excellent run of form in the first half of 2023/24 season for Chelsea, which in turn helped him earn his first England senior caps.

Despite a toe injury curtailing his campaign somewhat in the closing months, it was another impressive season in his fledgling career.

And a lot of that, the 21-year-old insists, is down to the hard work in the States last summer.

‘The tour last year definitely helped me settle in and get comfortable around the lads,' he explained.

‘And that helped me play my best football. So it definitely helped me once the season got going and hopefully this pre-season is just as good.

‘I think the games we've got lined up are really exciting games, and they're going to prepare us perfectly.’

Chelsea’s USA Tour 2024