In recent news, Chelsea have acquired the services of German forward Timo Werner for next season. This marks the Blues’ second pre-signing for the 2020-21 season, after having secured another high-profile deal for Ajax’s Hakim Ziyech earlier this year. With these solid additions and other rising talents already present in the squad, Chelsea under Frank Lampard can be considered as serious title contenders alongside Liverpool and Manchester City next season. These signings are a statement of intent from the London club and Lampard will have an array of options available to him for the forthcoming season.
Here we take a look at what can lead to the Blue’s dominance in England in the next couple of years.
FRANK LAMPARD AT THE HELM
Due to a transfer ban in the summer for the first time in Chelsea’s history, they appointed a manager for a long-term project rather than looking for instant success. Ironically, Lampard has benefited from this ban as he has got the necessary time to settle at the club and understand the strengths and weaknesses of the squad at his disposal.
Chelsea’s youth academy has always punched above its weight and has produced some fantastic young stars in English football. For the first time in the club’s history, they had to go back and look at the youth team and promote those players to the first team. 2019-20 saw the likes of Billy Gilmour, Tammy Abraham, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Mason Mount and Fikoyo Tomori having breakthrough seasons and credit needs to be given to Lampard for this transformation.
BUILDING A ROBUST MIDFIELD
With the recent additions to the squad, the five-time Premier League champions are expected to up the ante once again and give Liverpool and Manchester City a run for their money in the title race. Chelsea already have a strong midfield with players like N’Golo Kante, Mateo Kovacic, Jorginho, Ross Barkley and Ruben Loftus-Cheek as their established players.
There are even rumours that the Blues are looking to further strengthen this department by roping in players like Kai Havertz from Bayer Leverkusen and Declan Rice from West Ham United, who are some of their main targets for the summer transfer window. The squad can be considered a little light in this department and if strengthened in the summer, the healthy competition amongst the above players is sure to play to Chelsea’s advantage.
A TANTALIZING FORWARD LINE
Lampard is expected to have good selection headaches when it comes to his forward line. He has normally deployed a 4-3-3 formation this season with Abraham as his main striker. Pedro and Willian are both above 30 years and most probably will be moved on in the summer post the acquisition of Werner and Ziyech. Christian Pulisic, a star signing at the end of the last season, has had one season of experience in English football and the fans can expect to see the best of the American in the next season. Pulisic could be the X-factor for the team and Lampard will be hoping that Mason Mount continues to deliver in that number 10 role for the team, whenever called upon.
Werner could play on the left-wing as he has done for RB Leipzig this season and Ziyech would be more comfortable with the right-wing position. However, both these quality players would take time to settle down at the club and will have to adjust to the physicality that comes with playing in the Premier League.
The options in the forward line are surreal for the London club. They’ll have Hudson-Odoi, Olivier Giroud and Michy Batshuayi as their backup to the regular forwards. These players are all scary good and young, with Ziyech being the oldest man of the group at 27. Werner is 24, Abraham is 22, Hudson-Odoi is 19 while Mount and Pulisic are both 21. Hence, there are too many reasons to be optimistic about these options.
STRENGTHENING THE DEFENCE LINE
Defensively Chelsea could be challenged in the season. They have solid centre-backs in Antonio Rudiger, Andreas Christensen and Tomori but they all will need capable backups. Marcos Alonso gets caught out of position far too often in a match and his defending skills are nowhere compared to what he brings on the pitch on the attacking side. The alternatives are Reece James and Emerson Palmieri but Chelsea will look at options in the market to strengthen this department.
They’ve been linked heavily with Leicester City’s Ben Chilwell and he’ll be a perfect fit for the Blues if this transfer does go through. They have a charismatic leader in Cesar Azpilicueta, who was hailed by Jose Mourinho during his time at Chelsea. The Portuguese coach had claimed that if he had a team of 11 Azpilicuetas then they would’ve won the Champions League. The jury is still out for their keeper Kepa Arrizabalaga, who has a lot to prove in the next season.
Chelsea are well on course of finishing in the Champions League spot for next season and should achieve that with ease. With a bit of influx in the summer in terms of transfers, this team could definitely be a trophy-winning unit in the years to come.
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