Has the Axel Disasi and Levi Colwill partnership come to stay?

Alex Disasi Levi Colwill
Photo: Jacques Feeney/Offside/Offside via Getty Images

Every title-winning side must always have a rock-solid defence, and a centre-back partnership that will help win games.

Chelsea have had it in recent past, as the duo of John Terry and Ricardo Carvalho won hearts at Stamford Bridge and admirers across the Premier League.

John Terry also formed a unique partnership with Gary Cahill in the heart of Chelsea defence, and Cahill plus David Luiz combo wasn’t bad as well.

However, it hasn’t worked at the back for Chelsea in recent years. The new owners have brought in new centre-backs, but none has really worked.

The signing of Wesley Fofana hasn’t worked due to injuries, and all of Levi Colwill, Benoit Badiashile and Axel Disasi haven’t really combined well with Thiago Silva consistently.

The Brazilian was absent as Chelsea played a 1-1 draw with Manchester City at the Etihad, which birthed a stunning partnership between Axel Disasi and Levi Colwill.

The partnership between Axel Disasi and Levi Colwill against Manchester City received significant praise, showcasing a strong defensive performance that suggests a promising future for Chelsea’s backline without veteran Thiago Silva.

Jamie Carragher highlighted their masterclass in a game where Chelsea managed a valiant performance, with Disasi earning man-of-the-match honours and playing a key role in limiting Erling Haaland’s effectiveness.

Colwill, returning from a hamstring injury, also impressed, leading to suggestions that Chelsea should focus on building a future around younger talents like Disasi and Colwill​​.

The combination of Disasi and Colwill, along with the French-speaking Malo Gusto, indicates a more naturally cohesive defensive unit compared to pairings with Silva. Despite Disasi’s relatively lower mobility, his ability to cover ground more quickly than Silva due to age differences, and the speed and natural fit of Benoit Badiashile (when not injured), underscore the potential of Chelsea’s defence without Silva.

The dynamics within this setup suggest a shift towards a younger, more dynamic defensive line, aiming for dominance as seen in the team’s performance against Aston Villa’s forward line​.