Chelsea sent a clear message to the rest of the Premier League this summer with their transfer business.
The Blues, with Frank Lampard at the helm, recruited several high-profile attacking talents in an attempt to scale the table and return to the summit of the Premier League.
The fruits of that labour were on show during the first half against Southampton on Saturday afternoon in what was a polarising performance from Chelsea.
Timo Werner bagged the first and second Premier League goals of his Blues career, but the most pronounced improvement compared to last season occurred on the left side of the defence.
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Ben Chilwell’s arrival at Stamford Bridge was a bold transfer by Chelsea. The England international cost £50 million from Leicester City, it was a sizable investment from the club as it made the 23-year-old the club’s most expensive ever defender.
Left-back has been a persistent issue for Lampard since he took charge, but there was little for him to be worried about for large periods of the first half against the Saints.
Chilwell’s attacking intent presented itself as early as the second minute when he helped create an overload down the left-hand side that ended with a good save from Alex McCarthy.
He turned creator minutes later when a good deep cross found the head of Christian Pulisic. Werner was the next player to benefit, and although his header beat McCarthy, an offside flag denied the German his first Premier League goal.
There were no such obstacles minutes later when Werner dummied a pass from Chilwell and raced in behind Jan Bednarek. The former RB Leipzig striker then drove inside before firing a shot low and hard past McCarthy.
Werner would finish the half with a brace, but almost everything positive that Chelsea did in the final third came via Chilwell as he managed to connect with Havertz, Werner and Mason Mount.