How could Chelsea squad shape up for next season?

It’s clear that the Chelsea squad is facing another revamp ahead of the 2020/21 season.

Having integrated several academy players and overseen departures of experienced players in his 13 months in charge, Frank Lampard appears to be making serious moves in the transfer market.

Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner have already been secured, while Willian and Pedro have both left the club.

Arsenal have bolstered their attacking options for next season by signing Brazil international Willian on a three-year deal following his departure from Chelsea. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED BY SKY SPORTS.

Kai Havertz appears to be on the move to London, while Declan Rice is also a big-money target. With Jan Oblak and a left-back also on the shopping list, this could have an impact on many players still contracted to the club. Chelsea’s squad is set for overhaul, so here’s a look at how the squad could look.

Goalkeepers

The goalkeeper is arguably Chelsea’s biggest problem. Frank Lampard has clearly been looking at a replacement for Kepa. While Willy Caballero will remain at the club as a back-up, a new number one is likely to come in.

With a selection of names linked to the club, it’s obvious that the club are working on a solution to a problem which culminated in Kepa being dropped not once but twice during 2019/20.

Jan Oblak says he will consider his future at Atletico Madrid after their Champions League campaign came to an end. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED BY SKY SPORTS.

Oblak would be the highest-profile signing however, Andre Onana or Nick Pope could be more cost-effective. Either way, a new goalkeeper looks likely.

Likely options: New Number One, Willy Caballero, Youngster.

Full-backs

A left-back has been on Lampard’s shopping list for the whole season. Emerson appears to be heading for Inter Milan, so it looks like a case of one in, one out in this position.

Ben Chilwell appears to be the number one target for Chelsea at left-back. The Leicester man hasn’t had the best campaign and appears expensive, with the fee unlikely to be less than £50m. Cheaper alternatives include Sergio Reguilon and Nicolas Tagliafico however, Chilwell is certainly Lampard’s first choice.

Chilwell would compete with Marcos Alonso at left-back, while at right-back there is unlikely to be any change. Cesar Azpilicueta and Reece James are certain to be a part of Lampard’s squad next season.

Likely options: New Left-Back (probably Chilwell), Marcos Alonso, Cesar Azpilicueta, Reece James.

Centre-Backs

This is an interesting conundrum for Lampard. He’s not appeared to have a favoured pairing all season, as well as switching to a back-three for extra protection. Lewis Dunk has been fleetingly mentioned but the main target here appears to be the aforementioned Declan Rice. A defender throughout his academy years, his leadership qualities have stood out at West Ham, albeit as a midfielder. Any move for Rice would cast doubt over the futures of all four current centre-backs.

West Ham have dismissed reports they have received a £50m bid from Chelsea for Declan Rice. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED BY SKY SPORTS.

Fikayo Tomori has been linked with a move to Rennes, although this seems unlikely given his recently awarded new contract. Personal preference would see either Antonio Rudiger or Andreas Christensen depart but Lampard appears to like the players. This is one position that needs strengthening in terms of challenging for titles, although it is difficult to predict how the club approach this considering Tomori, Rudiger, Christensen and Kurt Zouma are all of similar ability. It’s also unlikely that Lampard will integrate Ethan Ampadu after his unsuccessful loan spell with Leipzig.

Likely options: Four from Declan Rice, Kurt Zouma, Antonio Rudiger, Andreas Christensen, Fikayo Tomori.

Central midfield

With Chelsea evidently interested in Declan Rice, questions will be asked as to how Lampard constructs his midfield. N’Golo Kante is likely to be the first name on Lampard’s team-sheet when fit, although an injury-hit season saw Kante make only 22 Premier League appearances in 2019/20. Lampard appears to be set on Kante in a holding role, so Jorginho’s future will be in doubt. A lack of suitors could see Jorginho remain at the club but he doesn’t appear in favour, unlike Mateo Kovacic who Lampard likes, along with the youngster Billy Gilmour.

It is in the advanced midfield areas that Lampard could have a real plethora of options. Mason Mount is a candidate for player of the year and will, at least, be a vital squad player. Kai Havertz’ imminent arrival is where things heat up. With Lampard appearing to favour one sitting midfielder behind two attack-minded #8s, Ross Barkley and Ruben Loftus-Cheek could be short of football. The club are said to be willing to listen to offers for Barkley in order to generate transfer funds for this Chelsea squad.

With Rice and Havertz major transfer targets, it’s evident Lampard aims to bolster his options in midfield, both defensively and offensively.

Likely options: Declan Rice, N’Golo Kante, Jorginho, Mateo Kovacic, Mason Mount, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Kai Havertz, Billy Gilmour.

Attack

The arrivals of Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner underline Lampard’s desire to bolster his attack. These two signings represent intent from Lampard to add speed and creativity to the squad which underperformed its xG by 12 goals in 2019/20. Havertz also gives Chelsea an exciting extra option in forward areas should he arrive.

In wide areas, departures of Willian and Pedro could prove a watershed moment for Chelsea. Christian Pulisic’s emergence ensures he is an almost guaranteed starter for Lampard. It is Callum Hudson-Odoi who could benefit most from Willian and Pedro leaving, with the 19 year-old aiming to impose his quality after a disappointing season. These two, plus Ziyech, mean Chelsea have real quality in wide areas, with Werner and Mason Mount also able to deputise.

The central striking berth is an area which Werner appears to upgrade in an instant. Olivier Giroud and Tammy Abraham both impressed at various stages of the season and are sure to have major roles in a versatile attack. Michy Batshuayi is sure to be leaving having played no minutes since lockdown, with Leeds interested in the player. Werner will replace Batshuayi in the Chelsea squad whose attack appears strong in terms of depth, quality and versatility.

Likely options: Callum Hudson-Odoi, Hakim Ziyech, Kai Havertz, Christian Pulisic, Olivier Giroud, Tammy Abraham, Timo Werner.

Loanees and sales

Unlike last summer, when Lampard utilised much of the ‘loan army’ on Chelsea’s books, there doesn’t appear to be a returning loanee with a chance of making a breakthrough. Sales of players such as Tiemoue Bakayoko and Danny Drinkwater should be used to enhance the budget, rather than the squad. Conor Gallagher and Ethan Ampadu will be best served with loans elsewhere to enhance their own development.

Therefore, signings rather than current assets are Lampard’s idea of squad enhancement. As a result, funds for sales will be required despite the Eden Hazard and Alvaro Morata fees still untouched. Players such as Emerson, Jorginho, Batshuayi, Barkley, Bakayoko and Drinkwater are likely to be sold in order to free up funds for a huge spending spree during a time of uncertainty across Europe.

If all goes to plan for Frank Lampard, he is going to have significantly improved his squad. This, at a time where the rest of the league are likely to be more prudent, provides real excitement. With defensive reinforcements and attacking versatility, Lampard must be quietly confident of closing the gap on the leading sides in England and abroad.

- Advertisment -

Most Popular

Is Thomas Tuchel still the right man to lead Chelsea?

Thomas Tuchel had the seemingly impossible task of managing Chelsea after the sacking of Frank Lampard. Tuchel quickly settled into the role and...

Is Levi Colwill the answer to Chelsea’s centre-half contract deadlock?

Chelsea Football Club enjoyed an excellent start to this season (2021-22) which has slowed down under the stress of injuries, Covid-19, and...

Thomas Tuchel’s experiment could lead to long term change for Kai Havertz

Kai Havertz starred as a false-nine during Chelsea’s 2-0 victory over Everton in his best performance for the Blues since arriving for £72m. Havertz has...

Images: Chelsea’s 2021/22 Leaked Home Kit

Footy Headlines have published some images that are believed to be Chelsea's home kit for the 2021/22 season. The Nike kit remains two shades of...