Frank Lampard, the former Chelsea legendary midfielder had a decent first season as manager in his boyhood club after being appointed for the job at the beginning of season 2019/20. As Chelsea faced a transfer ban before the beginning of last season, Lampard had to rely upon the existing players in the Chelsea squad and their only new signing Christian Pulisic. Nonetheless, Chelsea had to sell their key player Eden Hazard to Real Madrid as the player himself wished for the transfer. To recuperate with the loss suffered due to the transfer ban, Lampard opted to give chance to a number of their youth players from the academy for assembling the Chelsea lineup.
However, with the transfer ban lifted this season Chelsea jumped right into the transfer market to strengthen their squad. They had a busy transfer market and it looks like Frank Lampard has already made all the signings he needed. With the upcoming players like Timo Werner, Hakim Ziyech, or Kai Havertz and the academy graduates like Mason Mount or Callum Hudson-Odoi, Chelsea has formed a strong team who are capable of challenging for the English Premier League title.
Chelsea Transfer Policy : Building a Team for future
While Chelsea clearly displayed on the transfer market that their goal is to build a stronger squad this season that could challenge all the trophies that they will fight for this season, they also kept the focus on preparing a squad for long term business and building a strong reserve bench. As a result, they have signed a number of players who are currently aged below 25 and have displayed remarkable performances in previous seasons. Those players are Malang Sarr (21 years), Ben Chilwell (23 years), Kai Havertz (23 years), and Timo Werner (24 years). Other than that the Blues signed Hakim Ziyech (27 years) and Thiago Silva (35 years) to add more depth to the Chelsea squad.
It is true that the signing of Thiago Silva may seem a little odd, but Thiago Silva was a free transfer and the veteran Brazilian defender adds a lot of experience in Chelsea’s defense for at least the next two seasons. In addition to that, they already have Christian Pulisic, Mason Mount, Tammy Abraham, Reece James, Fikayo Tomori, Callum Hudson-Odoi – all of them are just in their early twenties and has shown great promises already.
With signing potential young players, Lampard’s Chelsea also let go players like Willian and Pedro who were aged and Frank Lampard decided that they are not at all part of his plans. In fact, Chelsea currently has only four players in their 36 men squad who are aged above 30. Those players are César Azpilicueta, Willy Caballero, Oliver Giroud, and Thiago Silva. Frank Lampard also has Mateo Kovačić, N’Golo Kanté and Jorginho in the midfield who are in their late twenties and has experience as well.
The average age of Chelsea’s current squad is 26.3 years which is a good combination of youth and experience and it is evident that they are building a squad for the future who can demonstrate the game in all competitions with Frank Lampard in their charge.
The Possible starting XI for 2020/21: How the players fit in Lampard’s playing style ?
With the new signings, Chelsea has more than one player for almost each and every position who can be a starter. Also, they have players who are eligible to play in different positions effectively. For example – Mason Mount or Hakim Ziyech both can play as a winger or attacking midfielder, or Kai Havertz can play as an attacking midfielder or central midfielder. Also, Frank Lampard prefers to use a 4-3-3 formation or sometimes a variant of 4-2-3-1 formation, where the midfielders differ based on the opponent’s strength and weakness.
The playing style Lampard prefers, allows his team to keep a lot of possession and he likes to hold on to the ball and dominate the game by going on offense continuously. From the stats of last season, Chelsea had the third-highest average possession in the Premier League (57.4 %) and second-highest shots per game (16.6) after Manchester City. Ziyech, Havertz, Pulisic, or Werner are well suited to this style as they have good speed, dribbling skills, and finishing ability. With the new signings and the current players, Chelsea’s regular starting line up could look like this.
Although the performance of their regular goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga was not up to the mark which led Chelsea to concede a lot of goals. So it would be better if they could sign a backup goalkeeper who could challenge Kepa for the starting position. However, currently, the only backup goalkeeper Chelsea currently has is 38 years old Willy Caballero, which means Kepa is the undisputed starter in his position in the Chelsea squad. Recently there have been rumours of Chelsea poised to sign goalkeeper Edouard Mendy (28 years old) from Rennes for 30 million euros. Mendy will join Willy Caballero as competitors for Kepa’s position, while Lampard oversees the development of highly-rated academy graduate Nathan Baxter, (21 years old), who spent last season on loan at Ross County. With goalkeeping being the only position where Chelsea lacking depth and quality, Lampard is looking to fix this issue as well.
After last season transfer ban, the way Chelsea has built their team, Frank Lampard surely is looking to challenge for trophies this season. If the Chelsea squad can perform as per their reputations and the newly arrived players can adjust with the playing style of English football, Chelsea fans will surely celebrate one or two trophies at the end of the season.
Liked our tactical analysis of how the Chelsea squad can lineup for the 2020/21 season? Read more of such tactical analysis based on the latest transfers to the new season below
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