Chelsea youngster attracting interest from Championship trio

Chelsea youngster Alfie Gilchrist is attracting interest from Leeds, Preston and Blackburn according to reports, with the defender set to go on loan next season.

Gilchrist had a breakthrough season at Stamford Bridge as he made his debut for the club, and scored his first goal in Blue against Everton having started the season in the under-21 side.

By the end of the campaign Gilchrist was a fully fledged member of the first team squad and played at both centre back and right back, often coming on towards the end to help see games out.

Gilchrist attracting interest from the Championship

The 20-year-old made his debut for the Blues at home to Crystal Palace last December and went on to make 17 appearances for the first team, with 11 of those coming in the Premier League.

Competition for places in defence is fierce and the Blues have further added to their defensive options with the signing of Tosin Adarabioyo on a free from Fulham.

Gilchrist is unlikely to get the minutes he needs at Chelsea next season to help develop his game, but he did sign a new contract in April keeping him at Stamford Bridge until 2026, with a club option of a further year.

Gilchrist had a breakthrough campaign last season, but is expected to leave on loan this summer.

The academy graduate is set to go out on loan next season to gather valuable experience and play regular first team football.

Journalist Ben Jacobs has reported that Gilchrist is attracting interest from the likes of Leeds, Blackburn and Preston in the Championship.

“Leeds, Preston and Blackburn are the three clubs who have made a formative approach so far,” Jacobs said.

“To all intents and purposes, Gilchrist would be open to a Leeds move.

“He’s obviously got great respect, though I know Chelsea and Leeds have their own rivalry, nonetheless, he would go there, and he would be very willing to fight and try to get promoted.”

It feels like the right decision given Gilchrist simply isn’t going to play ahead of the likes of Adarabioyo, Levi Colwill and Wesley Fofana when everyone is fit, and this feels like the best solution for the next step in his career.

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