Liverpool ‘record’ deal for Levi Colwill to reveal Chelsea prejudice over Mount to Man Utd

Will Ford
Levi Colwill could be following Mason Mount out of Chelsea.
Levi Colwill could be following Mason Mount out of Chelsea.

We wonder whether Chelsea fans will be so quick to show Levi Colwill the door to Liverpool if he snubs a Chelsea contract like Mason Mount. We suspect this time it will be the owners’ fault…

‘He was offered a contract and didn’t sign it, so f*** him,’ was the reaction of many Chelsea fans to Mason Mount’s snub of his boyhood club for Manchester United. The veracity and universality of that very basic and uninformed take will be tested should Levi Colwill turn down his own (presumably ludicrously long) contract in favour of more money per week at Liverpool.

It’s claimed Liverpool have made contact with Colwill’s camp over a move and are apparently interested ‘even at a record price’ – he’s their top centre-back target. Chelsea have maintained Colwill’s not for sale and Mauricio Pochettino is adamant he’s part of his plans, but the 20-year-old has so far refused to negotiate a new contract with his current deal expiring in 2025, and any player has a price, with Chelsea academy graduates – as has become apparent in one season of Todd Boehly’s ownership – as available as anyone.

Colwill enjoyed a breakthrough season on loan at Brighton, prompting the Seagulls to make a £30m bid to sign him permanently. “It’s difficult to find a another centre-back, left centre-back, with his quality,” Roberto De Zerbi said when asked about his desire to continue working with Colwill in 2023/24.

His physicality, composure, passing range and ability to bring the ball out of defence have all been evident in his starring role for the England U21s this summer, with his side yet to concede a goal in four games. And while comparisons with Van Dijk feel premature given Colwill’s made just 13 top-flight starts, the similarities are difficult to miss, and those similarities go a long way toward explaining Liverpool’s apparent willingness to spend so big to land the Chelsea academy graduate, with a Van Dijk succession plan not yet in place.

Colwill has reportedly made it clear to Chelsea that he needs assurances over game time to commit his future to the club. That provides a difficult conundrum for Pochettino, who has Benoit Badiashile, who looked good in the main in his debut campaign, as his other left centre-back option.

Fortunately for Chelsea, that desire for minutes this season – crucial with a view to a possible place in the England senior squad for Euro 2024 – would rule out Liverpool, because although Colwill could soon usurp Van Dijk, dropping the Dutchman now would be an incredibly bold move from Jurgen Klopp.

But Liverpool can sell him on being Van Dijk’s replacement, which a) is very flattering and b) offers an obvious path to the first team that will be open in the not-too-distant future. The Chelsea path isn’t so clear-cut.

Colwill will likely have to stomach rotation this season, as he did at Brighton last term, whether he stays at Chelsea or moves to Liverpool. Again, Chelsea don’t want to sell him, but given the option of an eight-year contract on £80,000 per week and a four-year contract on twice that, the Blues may be made to pay for their salary re-structuring.

Colwill doesn’t need the job security a mega-long contract would provide. Barring a career-ending injury, he will earn over £100,000 per week for over a decade, and likely far more, whether he stays at one club or makes multiple moves. It makes no sense for him to accept a lower weekly wage over a longer period of time. For a player like him, shorter contracts offer the chance to make more money through extensions or moves elsewhere.

The Chelsea fans’ take on the situation should Colwill move to Liverpool will test the theory that they wanted Mount to leave because he wouldn’t sign a contract, rather than because of this inexplicable vendetta they had against him – a grass-is-greener narrative that now has those same Chelsea fans drooling over Colwill.

Since Mount made his Premier League debut, no Chelsea player has scored more goals (27), made more assists (22), created more chances (227), had more shots (269) or won possession more frequently in the final third (80). And yet, swathes of Chelsea fans were more than willing to see the back of him.

READ MORE: Would Mason Mount even be welcome at Chelsea? Fabrizio Romano embroiled in the ‘Mount PR’ saga

Those same Chelsea fans would almost certainly be justifiably up in arms at Colwill – who has never actually played for Chelsea and has 17 Premier League appearances to his name – leaving for Liverpool.

They should have been at least as angry, probably more so, at Mount leaving for Manchester United. And we could soon have irrefutable evidence that their dislike of Mount wasn’t about his apparent snub of a contract (if indeed he did snub one) but because of some other reason we would need one of them to explain.

Colwill leaving for Liverpool would be met with disdain by all Chelsea fans, at which point blame would undoubtedly be laid at the door of the owners for not offering him more money – blame Todd Boehly and Behdad Eghbali somehow managed to avoid when it came to Mason Mount, who was a villain-in-waiting for a group of Chelsea supporters whose prejudice could soon be painfully apparent.