We find ourselves in a situation where we have one too many centre backs for Frank Lampard to choose from — almost none of whom are universally recognized as “good enough”.
This in part is due to individual desires, with players such as Fikayo Tomori wanting to stay and fight for a place in the first-team. But it’s also due to the way the Chelsea handled the situation, from leaving this business to the last minute, to asking too much for those on the chopping block.
For example, according to a report from the Athletic, Chelsea were asking for a £5m loan fee plus 100 per cent cover of Antonio Rüdiger’s £150,000 weekly wages, meaning that it would’ve cost teams up to £12.5m to acquire the services of the 27-year-old centre back for a single season. No wonder teams like Everton were “put off” and decided to go for someone like Nathan Godfrey instead, a 22-year-old who might end up costing £30m in fees alone, but will presumably be at the club for a long time to come. (Everton apparently had an approach for Kurt Zouma rejected meanwhile.)
Rüdiger still generated some interest, and he himself rejected last-minute moves to West Ham and Tottenham Hotspur.
Whether Chelsea will relax such demands come January remains to be seen. A lot can happen between now and then, maybe even such unforeseen events as Frank Lamaprd fixing our defensive woes (with whatever combination of the five available centre backs we have) ... lest he himself be put under pressure at a steadily increasing rate.