This article is part of Football FanCast’s Opinion series, which provides analysis, insight and opinion on any issue within the beautiful game, from Paul Pogba’s haircuts to League Two relegation battles…
The transfer ban imposed on Chelsea dictated Frank Lampard’s philosophy heading into his first full season as a Premier League manager and now it will be intriguing to see how the uplifting of that embargo changes the dynamic in west London.
Chelsea’s returning hero has transformed perceptions and moulded fan expectations. Outsiders have warmed to a side who they typically love to hate. They’re a guilty pleasure in the footballing world, but what’s not to like?
Tammy Abraham, Mason Mount and Fikayo Tomori have shed light on an alternative path to success even if their inclusion this season has arrived partly by virtue of the transfer ban.
Now that the ban has been lifted, though, legitimate questions over how the Blues will act in the transfer market and how that will impact on the next generation will naturally rise to the surface.
The foundations for success at the club have been built on aggressive spending courtesy of Roman Abramovich’s finances. Lampard was a key player during a revolutionary era for the club as the Russian billionaire stamped his mark on the footballing world by sanctioning a multitude of high profile transfers.
And, according to Goal, it seems he is willing to continue that strategy with the Englishman at the helm. The report details a handful of transfer targets who could be on the club’s radar in the coming months, and Jadon Sancho sits at the top of the list.
The former Manchester City youngster has long been linked with a return to the Premier League and fees in the £100m region have been widely reported alongside his name. Meanwhile, Ben Chilwell, a player who was linked with a £50m move to the Etihad Stadium 2018, also sits on the list.
What can be inferred from the calibre and price-tags of these players is that Abramovich is willing to put his faith in Lampard’s project.
When the 41-year-old returned to Stamford Bridge there was a lingering feeling that he was merely a short-term fix in the absence of an obvious big-name appointment, but an excellent opening to the campaign has extinguished that feeling.
And now, with the January window presenting an opportunity for Lampard to bring in his own players, it appears that Abramovich is sufficiently impressed by what he has seen to trust the manager with some high-profile acquisitions.
There is no concrete suggestion that any of the aforementioned stars will be on their way to the Bridge as soon as January, but the reports emerging in response to the decision to uplift Chelsea’s transfer ban point towards a strong level of faith in the manager at board level.
In other news, Chelsea are eyeing an £80m talent to bolster their attack, and it’s not Jadon Sancho…