Brighton boss hands Graham Potter Chelsea defensive solution despite Benoit Badiashile deal


Chelsea have become renowned for loaning young talents out to clubs across England and Europe before releasing them into the first team at Stamford Bridge. Current first team members Mason Mount, Reece James, Trevoh Chalobah and Conor Gallagher have all benefited from temporary moves and Levi Colwill is doing the same.

Colwill, 19, is currently enjoying his second loan spell away from Cobham after narrowly missing out on promotion to the Premier League with Huddersfield Town last season. After being strongly linked with permanent moves in the summer, Colwill was eventually loaned out to Brighton in August as Todd Boehly began an overhaul of the Blues' backline.

Under Graham Potter, Colwill made his Premier League debut at Old Trafford before only featuring once more before November. After Potter left the Seagulls to replace Thomas Tuchel, Roberto De Zerbi has entrusted the young defender in his backline. Despite failing to keep a clean sheet, Colwill has impressed in the previous three Premier League fixtures against Aston Villa, Southampton and Arsenal.

The Chelsea loanee has benefited from Adam Webster's injury and is gaining valuable minutes against some of the world's best teams. The Seagulls have been tipped to make a move in the January transfer window for a new centre-back as they look to seek out a long-term figure. Shakhtar Donetsk's Mykola Matviyenko has been linked after previously working with De Zerbi in Ukraine. And ahead of their game with Everton, the Italian opted to heap praise onto Colwill when quizzed on his side's pursuit for another defender.

"We can speak about the transfer market, but the club knows my idea and I know theirs. Tomorrow is important for us and I only want to speak about the [Everton] game," De Zerbi said on Monday. "I don’t know what his [Matviyenko] situation is, for sure I love him as a player. But I always have a good relationship with my [former] players. But I don’t know about this transfer market if it’s possible. Shakhtar is an important club, and [Levi] Colwill is playing very well."

Colwill will turn 20 next month and will fancy his chances to be in Potter's plans in August ahead of the 2023/24 campaign. However, whilst he develops down south, Chelsea have reportedly agreed a deal worth £32.7million for Monaco defender Benoit Badiashile. The French defender is set to undergo his medical ahead of signing a six-and-a-half year contract in west London amid Chelsea's frailties in defence. Despite the signing of Badiashile, De Zerbi has claimed Colwill has "big, big potential" to grow into.

"He is improving a lot. I am really satisfied with him, he’s a really good guy. He has a big, big potential. I think he can play better, he’s playing at around 60% of his potential and I want to give him more confidence and tranquillity. But game by game, he’s playing better," said the 43-year-old. "The players in the squad are the same [to me], if they are on loan or not."

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