by Massimo Franchi

Six matches, six victories, no goals conceded (11 goals scored), and a well-deserved title of Under-21 European champion. This is the impressive resume of Levi Samuel Colwill, the twenty-year-old central defender of the unbeaten and invincible English national team. A towering presence at 187 centimeters tall and 80 kilograms of muscle, he is the undisputed leader of the defense for the so-called Young Three Lions of King Charles III. He is the only player born in 2003 who starts for the team led by Anglo-Irish coach Lee Carsley, while the other twenty-year-old, midfielder Harvey Elliott, has only been fielded once in the tournament held in Georgia and Romania.


Colwill has been the cover star in recent weeks because he has just returned to Chelsea after an extraordinary season on loan at Brighton & Hove Albion, under the guidance of Roberto De Zerbi. Under the wise guidance of the Brescia-born coach, the Southampton-born defender has grown exponentially, climbing the ranks to become a regular starter: 17 appearances (22 in total) and 2 assists in the Premier League, securing a historic 6th place and qualification for the UEFA Europa League, a first for the Seagulls.


De Zerbi immediately tried to pull off a coup by securing a permanent deal for his protege, taking advantage of the confusion and uncertainty prevailing at Chelsea, with four changed coaches in the last eight months (Tuchel, Potter, Saltor, Lampard), and a plethora of players to be offloaded. An offer of £40 million was delivered to London, but it was easily surpassed within a few hours, first by Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City and then by Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool, with a bid of £50 million, equivalent to €58 million. The two co-sporting directors of the Blues, Paul Winstanley and Laurence Stewart, hesitated, especially considering that Colwill came from the Cobham Academy, cost nothing, never made his debut for Chelsea’s first team, and the resulting capital gain would have been enormous. Todd Boehly, the American club owner, entrusted everything to the new Italo-Argentine coach Mauricio Pochettino, who officially took charge on July 1st and halted all offers, sending them back. The bottom line: Colwill is not for sale, also because “Poch” has planned a starting role for him in place of Senegalese player Kalidou Koulibaly, who was sold to Saudi club Al Hilal after just one season at Stamford Bridge. Colwill currently earns around €900,000 per year until 2025, but Chelsea has already prepared a lucrative contract extension, extending the commitment until 2028.


With his style of play, physique, height, and graceful movements (English mother Deborah and Afro-British father Levi Senior), he has been compared to Dutch-Surinamese Virgil van Dijk of Liverpool. However, he idolizes the “Blue” legend John Terry. It is no coincidence that when Chelsea initially loaned him to Huddersfield Town two years ago, he wore the number 26 shirt, the same as the former captain. But Colwill clarified, ‘It’s an honor to be compared to the legendary John, which wouldn’t please anyone, but the number 26 represents the day I was born…’ That said, the English media enjoys describing him as ‘The New Terry.’


Colwill’s best friend is not English but German. They have known each other since childhood when they grew up together as peers (both born in 2003) at the Chelsea Academy. They played in the youth teams of the Blues from ages 8 to 16. We are referring to Jamal Musiala. Their friendship is unbreakable even though the German has returned to his native Germany. And now they have become double rivals as both are vying for the next Golden Boy award. The Bayern Munich midfielder took off in last month’s Golden Boy Index, ranking first overall ahead of new Madridista Jude Bellingham. But the “central” player from Chelsea, currently ranked 23rd, will climb many positions in the upcoming update. Winning the Under-21 European title (which had been missing from England’s trophy cabinet for 39 years since Mark Hateley’s triumph in 1984) is worth a significant jump in the rankings.”