Frank Lampard may have guided Chelsea into the Champions League knockout rounds, but yesterday’s crucial 2-1 win over Lille did not leave him a happy bunny. For the manyeth time this season, he lamented Chelsea’s inefficiencies in front of the opposition goal, and, to a lesser extent, foibles in front of our own, which made the game more difficult and less safe than it really should have been.
It’s all part of the learning process for a young team of course, though last night’s starting lineup featured only Tammy Abraham from among the Academy youth. So that narrative doesn’t quite apply as neatly as it’s usually been the case this season.
Fortunately, there’s a transfer window coming up. And while Lampard doesn’t want to “go crazy” in January just because Chelsea have saved up a bit of spending money during the transfer ban, he also wants to look at the possibility of strengthening certain critical areas of the team, as he told BT Sport after last night’s game.
“I think it will be very fluid and there will be discussions from now about how we will strengthen. We lost a lot of goals and creation with Eden last year, in his particular position. We missed some chances and we can probably push and look at strengthening (getting more competition) in those areas.”
It seems clear that Lampard is less than pleased with the options he has beyond his current front three (Abraham, Willian, and Christian Pulisic) or front four (if Mason Mount also starts). Pedro and Olivier Giroud are good as gone, while Michy Batshuayi and Callum Hudson-Odoi have struggled in recent appearances, including last night. And as good as the aforementioned quartet have been, we can’t go through the rest of the season with just the four of them.
Since the lifting of the transfer ban last week, Lampard has stressed the importance of maintaining a good balance in the team between youth and experience, to keep cultivating the proper attitudes in training, and the correct mentalities during games, all the while looking for potential improvements — be that in January or June.
Given our recent form and level of play, he may be pushing a bit harder for Chelsea to consider certain transfer targets — Wilfried Zaha (more likely) or Jadon Sancho (less likely) are the obvious names that come to mind here.
“If we are going to try and do something, it will be to improve the squad. I do think we’re slightly fixated on the young players and what might be. They’re all good players. My view on the balance of the squad is how can I improve it personnel wise.
“It’s not considering age, it’s considering position, it’s considering the quality level we might bring in and will that improve us, and considering the attitude and personality of people we bring in, because I want people who want to come here, work hard and be successful at the club. That’s where the balance of it is really important for me.”
“I’m very positive about what we have in front of us [but] of course I’m always evaluating. Can we improve? Now [...] there will be conversations. We have a scouting department here, of course we do, we have people working on this all the time whether the ban is here or not.”
-Frank Lampard; source: Chelsea FC
Well, looks like we may be in for some transfer (rumor) fun in the next couple months.