Former England defender Rio Ferdinand said Ben Chilwell was “fantastic” in Chelsea’s 4-0 drubbing of Crystal Palace and also praised the contribution of Thiago Silva.
England left-back Chilwell scored the first goal and laid on the second for Kurt Zouma, while Silva’s experience shone through in a one-sided London derby at Stamford Bridge.
“It was like water of a duck’s back for Chilwell,” Ferdinand told BT Sport.
“He’s confident and he looked happy to be on this stage. The expectation will be different from his previous club. I thought he was fantastic. Chilwell is a natural player as a modern-day full-back.
“Thiago Silva lifted the players around him. Zouma looked better.”
Ferdinand’s fellow pundit, ex-Chelsea midfielder Joe Cole, was equally impressed by Chilwell on the his full Premier League debut.
“Like Marcos Alonso, his left foot is lovely,” Cole said. “But he is a little bit more astute defensively. He has more nous and Chelsea have definitely improved in that area. He was outstanding from start to finish.
“Chilwell was arriving into positions late on. He plays and he follows. He has great energy and when he gets there, because his delivery is so good, he is always on the money.
“He will be such an asset for this club.”
Chelsea boss Frank Lampard was also full of praise for Chilwell.
Lampard described his performance as “fantastic” during the manager’s post-match press conference.