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Lampard’s Chelsea Have Massively Improved

Lampard’s Chelsea Have Massively Improved

Frank Lampard has improved Chelsea significantly from last season, but he needs reinforcements

Written by Chris Winterburn

Chelsea bounced back from a disappointing home defeat to Manchester United with a convincing 2-1 victory over Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday, and whilst it’s clear Frank Lampard has improved the Blues significantly, he still needs reinforcements.

Maurizio Sarri’s sole season at Stamford Bridge culminated in a trophy after winning the Europa League, securing Champions League qualification, however there were serious doubts about his style of football.

Not only this, but Eden Hazard’s departure further weakened the Blues, forcing Lampard to utilise the players already within the squad and returning from loan spells.

Tammy Abraham and Mason Mount have been revelations in attack, but there are still areas which leave Lampard frustrated.

Taking chances has been a serious problem of late, especially in Abraham’s absence, and that is an area that needs to be rectified, furthermore Hazard hasn’t been replaced.

Whilst Lampard wanted a centre-forward in January and many fans hope one arrives in the summer, that isn’t actually what Chelsea should be focusing on ahead of the off-season. They need a talismanic forward who can create chances, score goals and generally lift the morale of a team, in the mould of Hazard, although there is an argument they have already signed such a player in Hakim Ziyech.

A new goalkeeper is paramount too, with the situation between Kepa Arrizabalaga and Willy Caballero embarrassing when you consider the money spent on that position.

Kepa was always overpriced at 80 million euros, especially when Real Madrid almost had him for 10 million euros three months earlier prior to his contract renewal. It’s not as if Chelsea didn’t know Thibaut Courtois was leaving, they should have identified a much stronger replacement.

This is a job Lampard will have to do in the summer, both his goalkeepers have cost him goals, so much so that he’s even dropped the Spaniard to the bench. This will be expensive and finding someone to take Kepa’s salary off the books at Stamford Bridge will be tricky.

Abraham can lead the line for Chelsea for the foreseeable future and there is a player in there with Michy Batshuayi, just look at how Divock Origi turned things back in his favour at Anfield.

What Chelsea need is a star, someone who puts the fear into defenders like Hazard used to, and whilst Ziyech could be that player, the prospect of Jadon Sancho arriving at Stamford Bridge is mouth-watering.

Provided there isn’t an unexpected surge in the market for Erling Haaland as soon as June, Sancho will be the story of the summer, make no mistake about that.

Borussia Dortmund will sell the player for around £110 million and the buying club will be getting a star.

Sancho is as creative as he is elusive, and his goal record for Dortmund has been phenomenal, he’s the talent that will lead English football for the next 7-10 years and his next move is pivotal.

Upon arriving at Chelsea, if that were to happen, he’d immediately be their best player, their talismanic figure, and that’s exactly what Lampard needs to continue his good work.

Willian and Pedro don’t have long-term futures in London, they are players from a previous era in the club’s history. Lampard needs to move forward with Mount, Hudson-Odoi and he will hope, Sancho.

That is a fearsome attacking trio, and if you place Abraham at the top of it, you have an attacking corps that is up there with anything the Premier League has to offer, perhaps barring Liverpool’s sensational trio of Salah, Mane and Firmino.

Few expected Lampard to be doing this well at Chelsea with the club’s aforementioned registration ban, and to a degree the criticism he has received recently has shown the former Derby coach to be a victim of his own success.

He has moulded a team with limitations into a great position, so now when we see these limitations come to the fore more regularly, we actually expect better from Chelsea, which is unfair.

A strong summer transfer window will both solve a number of Lampard’s problems and take the team to the next level, however with a number of clubs after the same targets, it’s going to be a hugely difficult battle for Lampard to win. Then again, he’s shown this year that he’s quite good at upsetting the odds.

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