Pep Guardiola told Ben Chilwell he’s a ‘really talented player’ after Manchester City’s dramatic win over Leic

HIGH PRAISE

The game will be remembered for Vincent Kompany’s stunning winner but Guardiola took the time out to speak to the Foxes full-back afterwards

Leicester’s Ben Chilwell has revealed Pep Guardiola personally told the full-back he thought he was a ‘really talented player’, following the Foxes clash with Manchester City last month.

Amidst the celebrations following Vincent Kompany’s superb strike to give Manchester City the crucial win in their bid to win the Premier League for a second season running, Guardiola took the time out to praise Chilwell at the end of the game.

Chilwell gave a good account of himself as Leicester ran City close at the Etihad

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Chilwell gave a good account of himself as Leicester ran City close at the Etihad

Chilwell, 22, is in real contention to start in England’s Nations League semi-final against the Netherlands on Thursday night – a match you can listen to LIVE on talkSPORT.

The defender has been linked with a move to Manchester City in the past as the likes of Benjamin Mendy and Oleksandr Zinchenko have been unable to fully establish themselves as the first choice on the left side of the high-standard Citizens defence.

Guardiola has previous when it comes to approaching opposition players on the pitch.

One incident saw an animated Guardiola remonstrate with Southampton forward Nathan Redmond during a Premier League encounter at the Etihad Stadium in November 2017, although Redmond said the Spaniard was actually quite complimentary about his abilities.

Guardiola appeared to get confrontational with Redmond but the Saints man was relaxed about the incident

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Guardiola appeared to get confrontational with Redmond but the Saints man was relaxed about the incident

On his encounter with Guardiola, Chilwell said: “He just said he thought I was a really talented player and he wanted me to keep playing well, getting up and down the pitch and never going away from it.

“That was it and then he walks off to the next person he wants to speak to.

“It was nice for such a successful manager to say I’m a good player.”

However, Chilwell stressed the immediate aim is to work under Brendan Rodgers, who has made a difference to his game within three months of arriving.

“I’m at Leicester and with Brendan coming in we’re all loving him being there and that’s obviously where my head’s at.”

Could Chilwell be heading to Manchester City this summer?

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Could Chilwell be heading to Manchester City this summer?

“The gaffer at Leicester has come in and there are certain things in my game he wanted to change. In training I can get a bit angry and might take it out on people.

“He said ‘that is not going to help you, it’s just going to make you lose focus’. Little things like that I’ve not heard before.”

Chilwell’s England breakthrough came in October when he produced a man-of-the-match performance on his first senior Three Lions start – a goalless draw at Croatia.

He also started the game where the Nations League campaign really caught fire for Gareth Southgate’s men – a brilliant 3-2 win over Spain.

LIVE ON talkSPORT

talkSPORT is your home of live football! Here’s what’s coming up on talkSPORT and talkSPORT 2…

  • Portugal vs Switzerland (Wednesday, 7:45pm) – talkSPORT
  • Netherlands vs England (Thursday, 7:45pm) – talkSPORT
  • France vs South Korea (Friday, 8pm) – talkSPORT
  • Denmark vs Republic of Ireland (Friday, 7:45pm) – talkSPORT 2
  • Croatia vs Wales (Saturday, 2pm) – talkSPORT
  • England vs Scotland (Sunday, 5pm) – talkSPORT

A win over Croatia the following month at Wembley put England through to the last four of the competition in Portugal and now Chilwell and his team-mates are targeting Nations League glory.

He said: “In the Spain game I found the people I was playing against were finding positions on the pitch which I’ve not really faced before.

“Thiago Alcantara especially, he was finding little pockets, it was difficult to know whether to go and press him or not. It’s a learning curve but I was playing with players around me who were helping me through it.”

“We’re all looking forward to the summer and winning something, winning a major trophy which a senior team has not done since 1966.

“We’re just excited for that. This is a young squad and we want to win stuff now. We don’t want to learn over the next few years and start winning in a few years.

“We want to win this summer and then continue to win for the rest of our careers.”