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‘Chilwell overpriced at £80m, Chelsea should get Dunk’ – Cascarino assesses Blues transfer options

12:48 BST 17/08/2020
Lewis Dunk Ben Chilwell
The former Blues striker is not convinced that a raid should be launched for the Leicester left-back, but he would snap up Brighton's centre-half

Lewis Dunk is the kind of defensive “brute” that Chelsea need to be bringing in, says Tony Cascarino, with the Blues advised to spend big on a centre-half rather than invest heavily in Leicester left-back Ben Chilwell.

Frank Lampard is eager to bolster his defensive options in the current transfer window.

Attacking additions have already been made in Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech, while highly-rated Bayern Leverkusen playmaker Kai Havertz remains a top target.

With further firepower found, attention can be shifted to the plugging of leaks at the back.

England international Chilwell has been sounded out, but Cascarino believes the 23-year-old is overpriced at £80 million ($105m) and would not offer the upgrade that the Blues require.

The former Chelsea striker told talkSPORT: “Chilwell is a very good player, a very good footballer but I don’t think he’s the greatest defender, as a left-back, which sort of ticks a few boxes that Chelsea are already suffering with, with [Marcos] Alonso at left-back. He’s probably quite guilty of being far better going one way than the other. Also Emerson.

“It’s a lot of money. I watched him against Watford [a 1-1 draw in June] and Ismaila Sarr absolutely ran him ragged. I was quite surprised how easily he got the better of Chilwell on the day.

“He’s a good footballer and he’s very good creatively going forward. I just think it’s a huge price for someone.

“I think Chelsea need, in both positions, really good full-backs who can do the defensive work duties really well.

“Reece James is a great right-back. You can play him in a five and push him on when you want an attacking minded game but Chelsea leak too many goals and their full-backs are very pivotal to the way they play.

“There are a lot of times in games that their full-backs are being exposed and exploited and they’re paying the price.”

For half the reported price of Chilwell, it has been claimed that Chelsea could lure commanding centre-half Dunk away from Premier League rivals Brighton.

Cascarino believes that option should be explored, adding: “He’s not just a brute that wins headers. He’s a fine footballer. If you said to me, of the bottom half of the table who I think is the very best centre-half, I think it’s him.

“His consistency over a number of seasons has been brilliant. His partnership with [Shane] Duffy was exceptional. He’s moved from a two to a three and he’s done really well in the three as well.

“[Brighton] are a side who have changed their backline so he’s capable of playing not only in a back-four but a back-five, so I think Dunk is well capable and I think h will have that move and because of his level of performance I think he’s owed a chance to play for a top-six club because he’s good enough.”