Chelsea's summer business needs to turn them into contenders
Frank Lampard basically had nothing to lose in his first season in charge of Chelsea having lost Eden Hazard and with Chelsea barred from making any transfers last summer. So, reaching the F.A Cup final and finishing fourth in the league was seen as a great season but this is still Roman Abramovich's Chelsea, moderate success has never been good enough and the way Chelsea are splashing the cash this summer would lead you to believe Lampard will be held to a higher standard next season. Plus, its been three years since their last league win and Chelsea always win a title every three or four seasons, so?
With young British talent, such as Reece James, Billy Gilmour & Ruben Loftus Cheek, Christian Pulisic finally starting to show his quality and experience such as N'Golo Kante & Cesar Azpilicueta, some quality investment could really push this team on. Chelsea often struggled at both ends of the pitch last season and are looking to make big improvements to their attack and defense ahead of the new campaign. Quality defenders are a rare commodity these days and its an area where all English sides have struggled, especially in Europe. The angle most managers appear to go for is, moderately sure up the backline and build an elite attack that will out score most opponents and while this is an exciting way of playing, it is lazy from a coaching point of view and is hurting English teams in Europe, Liverpool being the exception.
Chelsea need a new goalkeeper, two center backs and a left back and although they appear to be close on deals they have only confirmed attacking signings so far this summer. Lampard is being given the funds in the transfer market by Roman Abramovich but with that comes a high level of expectancy and although he is a young manager, Lampard will know he must show he can coach a team to success at the highest level.
So far this summer, Chelsea have completed the signings of winger, Hakim Ziyech from Ajax and striker, Timo Werner from RB Leipzig. Ziyech should be a more than adequate replacement for Willian, who left the club for rivals, Arsenal. The Moroccan international has been one of the stars of the Eredivisie since moving to Ajax back in 2016, named in the Eredivisie team of the season and Ajax player of the season in three of his four seasons in Amsterdam after netting 40 goals and 60 assists in 112 league games. Following on from an impressive 17/18 season, where he was named Dutch Player of the Year, Ziyech's ability came to the attention of the world in 2019, playing a crucial role in Ajax's run to the Champions League semi-final and a league & cup double in Holland. Tipped to join a number of high profile clubs but Chelsea have got him and will be hoping he'll show his best form in the Premier League.
As for Werner, the 24 year old German has been one of the hottest properties in Europe for the last couple of seasons after netting 95 goals in 159 games for RB Leipzig, including 34 this past season. With age on his side and a killer instinct infront of goal, 47.5 million pounds could prove to be a steal in a couple of years. It will be very interesting to see how Werner fairs in the Premier League given that most young German talent ends up at Bayern Munich. Tammy Abraham appeared he was the perfect man to fill the no.9 spot in the Chelsea team but he could not keep his form throughout the season and will now most certainly be playing backup to Werner alongside Olivier Giroud.
Along with Ziyech & Werner, Chelsea are also close to agreeing deals for Thiago Silva, Ben Chilwell and Kai Havertz.
Thiago Silva is set for a medical on Thursday after deciding not to sign a new contract with PSG. Despite turning 36 next month, he would still be a quality signing for Chelsea, providing much needed experience and knowledge to a back four that was left wanting a lot last season.
Ben Chilwell was said to be nothing more than a dream for Chelsea earlier this summer but it now appears that they are close to agreeing terms with Leicester. Left back is a position that Chelsea have really been lacking over the past couple of seasons and although Chilwell will be an improvement on what they currently have, it will be a large expense for a player that still has a lot to learn, similar situation to Manchester United signing Aaron Wan Bissaka last summer.
Kai Havertz has become one of the most sought after stars in world football after netting 38 goals & bagging 16 assists over the past two seasons in a struggling Bayer Leverkusen team. The 21 year old was being linked with Real Madrid but it now appears Chelsea are going to win the race and he should be able to add an extra spark to their attack and be a shining light for years to come in the Premier League.
Chelsea have also been linked with a move for a new no.1 goalkeeper this summer. Frank Lampard appearing to have made it clear that Kepa Arrizabalaga is not good enough to be his number one moving forward. Jan Oblak appears to be their top target but they could be priced out of a move given his 110 million buy-out clause and Atletico Madrid's unwillingness to sell. They have picked out Lille stopper Mike Maignan and Ajax's Andre Onana as more likely signings but there have been no developments as of yet. They will also have to try sell Kepa in order to fund a deal for a new keeper after breaking the world record transfer fee for a keeper two years ago to sign him from Bilbao.
Chelsea are making up for lost time in the transfer window and all at the club know the need for investment to bridge the gap between themselves and Liverpool but the new look team will put much more pressure on club legend Frank Lampard. His playing career and name helped him a lot last season, rarely receiving criticism in the media and certainly being treated with a lot more leniency than any manger before him under Abramovich, justifiably so most would say but he will have be right up there in the cup competitions and league contention next season.
Chelsea as a club demand success and although no fan will ever truly turn on Lampard, arguably their greatest ever player, his managerial ability will be tested to the highest extent with this new look team and unless Roman has completely changed his ownership philosophy, he will need to all but ace the test to remain Chelsea manager.