Chelsea’s title hopes for next season


After a relatively successful year at Derby County, Frank Lampard’s move to manage Chelsea was questioned because of his lack of experience. However, the ex-English midfielder has established himself as a manager who can cope with the intensity of the premier league.

Lampard has brought fresh ideas to the club’s style of play and fresh hopes have been re-invigorated in the minds of supporters. The club was in desperate need to bring in a manager who could bring back an identity which the fans could relate to, and who better than Lampard to fulfil that.

He joined the club at the beginning of the 2019/2020 campaign and wasn’t allowed to make any additions to the side because of the transfer ban placed on the club. To make things worse for him, he lost his star player, Eden Hazard, to Real Madrid.

Despite all the odds stacked against him, Lampard has led his team to fourth place on the table, and they are expected to retain this position come the end of the season if not better it.

Chelsea’s summer transfer window ban must have frustrated Lampard, as every new manager would love to bring in new players they require and filter out the players who don’t fit the system. This is the primary reason for Chelsea not being able to compete for the title this season.

If Chelsea are to fight for the title in the 2020/21 season, Chelsea will have to strengthen and solidify certain areas on the pitch. The following areas could require new signings and tactical changes, and thankfully for the club’s supporters, Chelsea seems to have made steady progress in their transformation.

  1. Replacing Pedro and Willian:

The pair have been loyal servants to the club for 5 and 7 years respectively, however, with their contracts expiring on the 30th of June, it seems likely that they will leave the club. The duo’s best years are behind them, as they have become very predictable in their attacking approach.

Chelsea have done well to bring in Hakim Ziyech on a transfer fee of 36 million pounds from Ajax, who will officially join the club on the first of July. He will slot right into either the position of right midfield or right-wing, depending on the position adopted (4-2-3-1/4-3-3). This takes care of a replacement for Willian.

Kai Havertz has been heavily linked to Chelsea, but he will come at quite an exorbitant price. The 21-year-old is worth around 75 million pounds, and Bayer Leverkusen will not be willing to lose such a highly rated talent for less than that figure.

If Havertz does join Chelsea, he could play in his preferred CAM role, with either Mason Mount drifting towards the left or Christian Pulisic playing in his natural left winger role.

  1. Fixing the midfield three:

Jorginho and Mateo Kovacic have been impressive all season, however, the former could leave Chelsea to reunite with his former boss Maurizio Sarri at Juventus. This would leave the holding midfield spot vacant and Chelsea don’t have many experienced players to replace him.

Ngolo Kante’s best position is not that of a holding midfielder, as he doesn’t get the chance to display his attacking prowess or his intensity in pressing. If Jorginho is to leave this summer, Chelsea’s most suitable midfield three would be Billy Gilmour as the holding midfielder, and Mateo Kovacic and Ngolo Kante on either side of him.

This is the shape that Frank Lampard used in Chelsea’s last game against Everton, where they produced a brilliant performance, winning 4-0. In that game, Mason Mount and Ross Barkley played on either side of Gilmour. However, to provide Gilmour with additional defensive assistance, Kovacic and Kante would be the better partners for the young Scottish midfielder.

Abraham could be facing competition from RB Leipzig’s Timo Werner as Chelsea’s main striker
Credit – Getty Images

  1. Competition for Tammy Abraham:

Tammy Abraham is Chelsea’s leading goalscorer this season with 13 goals in the premier league. For a 22-year-old’s first full season at a massive club, these are rather impressive numbers. Abraham hasn’t faced much competition for his spot in the team, with Michy Batshuayi set to leave the club, and Olivier Giroud is probably not the ideal fit for Lampard’s first eleven.

Despite his commendable goal-tally for this season, in the seven appearances against the traditional “big six” clubs, he has scored only one goal. Hence, he still hasn’t established himself as a big-game player.

With the signing of Timo Werner all but announced, Abraham is sure to be pushed to his limits as he competes with the German for game-time. Werner is undoubtedly the better technician among the two, and he even has the physical advantage over his soon-to-be teammate.



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