Who is Alfie Gilchrist? Chelsea’s ‘next John Terry’ rewarded by Frank Lampard vs Man Utd
Alfie Gilchrist was picked as a replacement for Chelsea’s match against Manchester United, and we take a look at the young Stamford Bridge star.
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Frank Lampard took the risk that many Chelsea fans had been requesting for weeks, selecting the club’s youngest starting XI of the season for the away trip to Manchester United.
In his two months as caretaker manager, he had mixed in some youth with a primarily experienced core, but performances had not improved from the low set by Graham Potter. It was believed that after his influx of youth players into the team in 2019, more of the club’s academy talents would be given an opportunity.
However, this has not been the case. Lewis Hall made his first debut for Lampard against Nottingham Forest, while Carney Chukwuemeka was also mostly neglected. He employed a different tactic against Erik Ten Hag’s soldiers.
Not only did Chukwuemeka start from the start, but Hall also kept his place in the team despite the presence of 33-year-old Cesar Azpilicueta. David Datro Fofana was back in the matchday squad, but there was a new name on the bench as well.
Alfie Gilchrist, 19, received his first taste of senior football after another good year for the club’s Under-21s. He is out of contract this summer, but the team holds high regard for him.
This season, the center-back has captained the youth teams while also putting in strong performances against senior sides in the EFL Trophy, assisting the young Blues to victories over Bristol Rovers, Forest Green Rovers, Oxford United, and Peterborough in the previous two seasons.
“I try to lead by example on and off the pitch, as I believe how I act and respond to situations can positively or negatively impact the squad,” he said as captain last season. I believe I must maintain my standards and better myself, as well as be someone on whom the coaching staff can rely. I also like having more responsibilities. In all honesty, I believe it has improved my game. We lost a little bit of attention in the game against Watford, despite our quick start, and that is what allowed Watford to overcome us. We must ensure that when we have momentum, we maintain it rather than making the game tense.”
A club scout made the comparison between him and John Terry as a talented defender coming through the ranks.
And Gilchrist has stated that the Chelsea legend is a player from whom he has learned. “John is someone I look up to,” he stated last year.
“I want to improve my game and set a good example, just like he did for so many years at this club.” The fact that he is there to provide advice and coaching makes my goals that much more attainable.”
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This advancement and opportunity for Gilchrist come at a good moment for him. He was selected as one of the Premier League 2 Player of the Season nominees last week.
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