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Lampard not setting any transfer expectations, but knows where Chelsea can improve

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Plans in progress

Chelsea may not be winning consistently on the pitch these days, but we’re making winning moves in the transfer market, which, combined with the young homegrown core should, in theory, help us get back to those ways.

The signings of Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner are certainly promising, but they address only one aspect of the team. And as much as chance conversion and chance creation were issues at times this season, we’ve had plenty of shortcomings in defense, goalkeeper, and even midfield throughout the season.

Some of the issues are systemic, but we can certainly improve by adding better quality players to the squad as well.

Speaking after last night’s final match of the season, Lampard assured that he and the club are planning to tackle those problems head on, and make the appropriate decisions necessary.

“We will look at that, because that’s our job, my job. We’re very joined up in how we’ve worked at it already. [...] Recruitment is a huge part of this game.

“When you look through the team, nights like tonight, for me in a footballing sense, show a lot. So it’s a conversation [for us to have] now that the season’s ended. It’s a very quick turnaround but now is the time to see what areas can we improve in.”

Pressed for further detail — the interviewer drops Kai Havertz’s name, who supposedly has agreed personal terms — Lampard was quick to dismiss any specific expectations, reiterating that the focus is on the “joined-up” process, which is a familiar phrase.

Depending on your interpretation (this is the last question in the video embedded at the top), Lampard may be hinting at preferring someone other than Havertz — or more precisely, addressing a different concern in the squad than adding another attacking midfielder — but I’m not sure we should be reading that closely into what he’s saying.

The answer is too generic and clichéd to be micro-analyzed like that.

“I wouldn’t expect anything, but as I said, it’s our job to go away and see what happens and if we can improve. In a football sense, I feel like I know where we can, so now it’s time to look at that.”

-Frank Lampard; source: BT Sport

Chelsea’s immediate needs seem far more pressing on the defensive side rather than the attacking end, but passing up a chance to sign Kai Havertz, if we do indeed believe him to be as much of a generational talent as many are saying, may not be the smartest move either, especially if ideal targets are not available at other positions.

One viable long-term squad-building strategy involves signing the best talent available even if that comes at the cost of overlooking other positions in the short-term until a similar level of talent can be found there, too. Basically, would it be better to spent £90m on Havertz or spend £30m at each of center back, left back, and goalkeeper? Which one’s the riskier approach? The latter is kind of what got us into our current mess after all.

One thing’s for sure, these “joined-up” post-season conversations need to happen and happen quickly.