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Chilwell says club's former defender Cole a big factor in Chelsea move

LONDON (Reuters) - Chelsea’s new signing Ben Chilwell has said that the London club’s former defender Ashley Cole played a big role in his switch from Leicester City.

Soccer Football - Premier League - Everton v Leicester City - Goodison Park, Liverpool, Britain - July 1, 2020 Everton's Andre Gomes in action with Leicester City's Ben Chilwell, as play resumes behind closed doors following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Peter Powell/Pool via REUTERS

Chilwell joined Chelsea in the close season on a five-year contract for a reported 50 million pounds ($64.82 million) and the 23-year-old made his debut in last week’s 6-0 home win against Barnsley in the League Cup third round.

The England left back said that he wanted to follow in the footsteps of Cole, who won the Premier League and Champions League during his eight seasons at Stamford Bridge.

“Coming to Chelsea, as well as talking to the manager (Frank Lampard), a big factor for me was speaking to Ashley and seeing his career here. I wanted to emulate that,” Chilwell told reporters on Thursday.

“To have someone like that to look up to, it was important for me. I was keen to meet him... and pick his brains about what he thought of Chelsea as a club and how he reached the success here.

“He said that the fans love players who... kind of die for the badge. He said he loved the club and wanted to win... so if I can take that on board, I should have a great career.”

Chilwell, who missed two games at the start of the season due to a heel injury, said Lampard’s managerial approach was also one of the key reasons for the move.

“It’s important to play for a manager that has played for the club I’m joining, loves the club and knows what it takes to win trophies here. I think that’s a big reason why a lot of players joined,” Chilwell added.

“His man-management seems top, even the boys who aren’t playing will tell you that.”

Senegal goalkeeper Edouard Mendy, Germany striker Timo Werner and midfielder Kai Havertz plus Morocoo winger Hakim Ziyech also joined Chelsea in the close season, taking the club’s overall spending to more than 200 million pounds.

($1 = 0.7714 pounds)

Reporting by Manasi Pathak in Chennai; Editing by Ken Ferris