Who is Levi Colwill? All you need to know about the Chelsea academy star and Arsenal, Crystal Palace and Leicester transfer target linked with a move to Brighton

Brighton & Hove Albion been offered highly-rated Chelsea defender Levi Colwill as part of a deal for left-back Marc Cucurella, according to multiple sources.

The Athletic, Italian transfer expert Fabrizio Romano, the Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail have all reported that the Blues have offered the 19-year-old’s services to Albion in a player-plus-cash swap deal.

Chelsea value the teenage defender at £20m, and are willing to pay the Seagulls £30m in addition to Colwill, to meet Brighton’s 50m valuation of the Spaniard.

Albion reportedly spoke to Chelsea earlier this summer about Colwill, and a swap deal could now suit both clubs after Cucurella sensationally handed in a transfer request last week.

As the transfer saga continues to unfold, here’s all you need to know about Chelsea defender, and Brighton & Hove Albion transfer target, Levi Colwill.

Early beginnings at Chelsea

Colwill joined Chelsea at under-9s level after coming through the Blues’ development centre programme.

The young gun made his under-19s debut in the UEFA Youth League draw with Valencia in September 2019.

Chelsea defender and Brighton & Hove Albion transfer target Levi Colwill (right) in action for loan club Huddersfield Town last season. Picture by David Rogers/Getty Images

The defender began to make appearances for Chelsea’s development squad in early 2020. But his season ended early after picking up a knee injury in the FA Youth Cup win over Millwall at Stamford Bridge.

He made 23 appearances for the Blues’ under-23s and signed his first professional contract on his 17th birthday in February 2020.

Colwill returned to the pitch in 2020-21 season and became a mainstay of the club’s under-23s.

He appeared 18 times in the Premier League 2, scoring once, and also made two appearances in the FA Youth Cup and three in the EFL Trophy.

Breakthrough season while on loan at Huddersfield Town

Colwill enjoyed a very successful season-long loan spell at Championship outfit Huddersfield Town during the 2021-22 campaign.

The teenager moved to the Terriers in June 2021 not long after signing a new four-year deal at Stamford Bridge.

He made his professional debut in a 4–2 penalty shootout win against Sheffield Wednesday in the EFL Cup on August 1.

The defender netted his first senior goal just 20 days later, hitting a late winner in Huddersfield’s 2-1 victory at Sheffield United.

Colwill’s season was disrupted by ankle, knee and hip problems, as well as Covid, but the youngster still managed to make 32 appearances in all competitions for the Terriers.

The defender played an key role in helping Huddersfield, who had ended the previous campaign in 20th, to a third-place finish and a place in the play-offs.

But there was to be no fairy tale end to Colwill’s breakthrough season. His own goal proved to be Nottingham Forest’s winner in the Terriers’ 1-0 Championship play-off final defeat in May.

Transfer speculation intensifies

After impressing in Yorkshire, the defender was linked with a slew of Premier League clubs.

The Athletic reported that Crystal Palace, Southampton, Fulham, Leicester City and Everton, along with Brighton, were interested in the teenager’s services.

The outlet also reported that Albion’s old foes Palace were ‘confident’ in securing a move for the England under-21 international.

The Guardian, meanwhile, reported that Leicester had a long-standing interest in Colwill. The Foxes inquired about taking the defender on loan in January, but Chelsea did not want to break their loan agreement with Huddersfield.

Southampton were reportedly monitoring the situation surrounding Colwill, according to The Athletic, while the Evening Standard reported that the 19-year-old was ‘attracting interest’ from the Blues’ London rivals Arsenal.

Why would Colwill choose to leave Chelsea?

Colwill is reportedly desperate to play first team football but it looks increasingly likely he will have to achieve that away from Stamford Bridge.

Speaking to The Athletic in May, while on loan at Huddersfield, the defender said: “I think I’m ready [for the Premier League].

“I’ve learnt a lot this year, so the next step I hope will be in the Premier League, with Chelsea, Huddersfield or whoever.”

It has been a summer of upheaval in the Blues’ backline. Chelsea have, so far, bid farewell to central defensive pair Antonio Rüdiger and Andreas Christensen during the summer transfer window.

The West London club are also expected to allow full-backs César Azpilicueta and Marcos Alonso to move to Spanish giants FC Barcelona.

The Blues have signed Senegalese defender Kalidou Koulibaly from Napoli this transfer window, in a deal worth £33m, and are reportedly working on deals to sign Leicester’s Wesley Fofana and Inter Milan’s Dutch right-back Denzel Dumfries.

If Chelsea do secure deals for Fofana and Dumfries, Colwill’s first team chances look increasingly limited.

Colwill is already behind Thiago Silva, Malang Sarr, Trevor Chalobah and Koulibaly in the Chelsea pecking order.

And if the Blues do sign Fofana and Dumfries, and Ethan Ampadu and Emerson Palmieri, who spent last season on loan, stay at the club, Colwill could find himself the eighth-choice defender at Stamford Bridge.

A move for Colwill, like former teammates Fikayo Tomori and Marc Guehi, could see the teenager flourish in the Premier League and potentially earn a senior England call.