Frank Lampard was well briefed when returning to Stamford Bridge and being unveiled as the club’s new manager. The Londoners were in trouble off the field of play, working under the restraints of a transfer embargo, losing some of their top players and carrying a squad filled with youth and inexperience. It is also believed the days of free spending are now over at the blues.
Perhaps it was his undying loyalty to the club he once captained or perhaps he was a shrewd enough manager to know opportunities like this don’t come around too often. Lampard signed the paperwork and agreed to take on the task. Some called him crazy, others suggested he would achieve little more than a midtable finish, but he has silenced the critics so far.
Lampard overcame a slow start
Boasting a collection of young, hungry and ambitious players, Frank overcame a poor start to take his recruits on a run of form. They accelerated past the stragglers, driving into a top four position, winning over the stands and transforming a hoard of doubters in the process.
Beginners luck? No one believed so, it was just a winner doing what he had become used to. Many online betting apps are still forecasting the blues will retain their current Champions League position when the season comes to a conclusion. That would be quite an achievement, given the circumstances of their campaign.
As the dust settles on what was a hectic 2019, Lampard now has the chance to sit back at his desk and plan for the future. He will be immensely proud of how his youngsters have performed when handed the reigns, but he will also be experienced enough to know this can’t last forever. Lampard can’t rely solely on his babes for much longer.
Abraham a fans favourite
His options are severely limited of course. He doesn’t have the funds available to him that some of his predecessors enjoyed, but he must make changes. Some of the standout players for Chelsea so far this season have been midfielder Mason Mount, striker Tammy Abraham and defender Fikayo Tomori. Abraham is a real fans favourite and he won the hearts of supporters, especially after scoring against Arsenal. His winning goal in the derby was a highlight in a very good season and will live long in the memory of all who enjoyed it.
The gaffer wouldn’t dream of replacing these performers and denting their progress, but it’s obvious they need help. We learned that during a busy and difficult festive period when Chelsea’s squad was stretched almost to breaking point.
Who does Lampard have his eye on in the transfer window? The club have been linked to many stars in the gossip columns but, as the old saying goes, you shouldn’t believe everything you read in the papers. The blues have plans for January. Here are three men who could help bolster Chelsea’s chances of a top four finish.
The CSKA Moscow forward is a 21-year-old Russian who has 32 goals in 84 appearances. He is billed as the next big thing in Russian football and would embrace a switch to a major European league to help further his career. Chelsea could give him that chance. Help the blues to victory and more caps for the Russian national team would be guaranteed. It is common knowledge that Lampard is in the market for a striker and it’s believed a £20m transfer bid would help sweeten the deal for his current employers to stand down.
The Red Bull Leipzig attacker is always a popular name at this time of year with tabloid newspapers linking the 23-year-old German with a move to a Premier League club. This isn’t the first transfer window that has promised Werner is on his way to the UK and it isn’t even the first that has rumoured he was catching the eye of Chelsea. Yes, he’s a talented player with the world at his feet, scoring 68 goals in his first 110 appearances, but the Bundesliga challengers aren’t a selling club by anyone’s standards. They’d be out for big money if they were to lose their man.
It’s crazy to think Glasgow Celtic picked this man up on the cheap from Fulham where he wasn’t getting an awful lot of luck. Like Virgil van Dijk, Dembélé saw his career take off in the Scottish Premiership and his efforts there helped sell him to big teams in England. Lyon paid the money needed to bring Moussa home, but he has since been linked with Manchester United and Chelsea. Whoever does win his signature will be getting a proven goal scorer for their cheque.