By Richard Cooke
Last Updated: 08/12/18 10:02am
Leicester defender Ben Chilwell says it is his ambition to become “one of the best left-backs England has ever had”.
The 21-year-old made his senior England debut in the 1-0 win against Switzerland at the King Power Stadium in September and played a key role in the Nations League wins over Spain in Croatia.
He has also played every minute in Leicester’s league campaign this season, and in October signed a contract extension that will keep him at the club until 2024.
Chilwell is refusing to get carried away but says his sights are set on becoming a regular in the England side for years to come.
“That’s my long-term aim,” Chilwell said. “Obviously, I’m not thinking too much about that because it’s a long old career and I’m taking every week as it comes.
“At the moment, if I can play well for Leicester for the next few months, then hopefully I can be involved in March and then be involved in the summer in the Nations League.
“That’s my short-term aim. The long-term aim is obviously to be the first-choice left-back for 10 years to come and be one of the best left-backs that England has ever had. But that’s obviously in the back of my head.”
Chilwell is preparing to face Tottenham at the King Power Stadium on Saturday night with Leicester in the top half of the table and hoping to qualify for Europe again.
But he admits it could have all been very different as he once showed more potential at cricket than football.
“Maybe I was an even better cricketer than a footballer,” Chilwell added. “I was in the Northants academy set-up and went to Loughborough University for three days for an ECB young England Talents event.
“I was an all-rounder but more of a batsman, maybe a second choice bowler.
Leicester vs Man City
December 18, 2018, 7:30pm
“I started playing men’s cricket when I was 15. That’s when I stopped enjoying it. It was long days, 50-over games with men 15 years older who you don’t really have anything in common with, all talking about going to the pub.
“I was enjoying my football, even though it wasn’t really going well. That’s when I said to be dad, who as a New Zealander was very keen on me playing cricket, that I would choose football.”