Chelsea’s transfer ban officially concluded at the beginning of 2020, and Blues fans will be understandably looking forward to seeing the club flex their financial muscles once again in the summer. However, the FIFA sanction has allowed the Blues to nurture a number of young players, who ordinarily wouldn’t have been given an opportunity to shine in the Premier League.
Despite being able to flash the cash once again, early indications suggest that Frank Lampard will continue to focus on youth, with a number of Europe’s hottest prospects being linked with a move to West London. Although 27-year old Alex Telles is hardly a spring chicken, the likes of Jadon Sancho and Nicolo Rovella have reportedly been scouted by the Blues over the last couple of months, and the duo appear to perfectly fit the club’s current philosophy. Ajax star Hakim Ziyech is set to join the club in the summer. Chelsea are still in the race for a top four position this season, and qualifying for the Champions League would almost certainly give them increased bargaining power in the transfer market.
Areas of Weakness
Although Lampard is still held in high regard by the majority of Blues fans, supporters have become increasingly frustrated with their team’s inconsistencies this season. The capital club have failed to win back-to-back Premier League games since the beginning of November, and there can be very little excuse for dropping points against bottom-half dwellers Brighton, Newcastle and Bournemouth in recent months. Their collapse at the hands of Bayern Munich was also a cause for concern. The Bundesliga side, who are one of the favourites with Betway for Champions League success, have been in terrific form recently, and their enviable array of firepower simply blew Chelsea away at the end of February.
Goalkeeper Kepa’s performances have come under the spotlight with the £71m recruit having one of the poorest save percentages in the top flight. Left-back is another position which is likely to be high on the priority list this summer. Ross Barkley’s disappointing performances coupled with N’golo Kante’s prolonged absence also provides the perfect opportunity for a potential arrival to make the central midfield berth their own next year, which could be the incoming Ziyech.
Chelsea have scored four goals in a single Premier League game at Stamford Bridge for the first time this season.
Frank Lampard is schooling his former boss. 🎓 pic.twitter.com/K9uO3sOdoe
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) March 8, 2020
The West London outfit are believed to be turning their attention to Serie A this season with Udinese goalkeeper Juan Russo linked with a move to Stamford Bridge. The stopper is likely to command a fee of around €30million, and has caught the eye this season with a save percentage of 69%. The Argentine has kept nine clean sheets in the Italian top flight this campaign and has pulled off a string of impressive saves along the way.
Rovella has also been linked with a move to the capital, although the Genoa teenager is also being closely monitored by Antonio Conte’s Inter. The 18-year old has played just 30 minutes of competitive action this season, although his performances in the Primavera have strongly suggested that he’s almost ready to make the step up. Although the Segrate-born playmaker would be highly unlikely to be thrown in at the deep end, his arrival would be seen as a significant coup for the club.
Players rarely make the transition from Italian football to the English game seamlessly, and in an exclusive interview with Betway, West Ham trio Felipe Anderson, Angelo Ogbonna and Carlos Sanchez explain the major differences between the two divisions. They highlight the frenetic nature of the Premier League, suggesting that the sheer intensity takes plenty of getting used to, whereas the Italian top tier is far more tactical and allows players ample time on the ball. As a result, Rovella would need to be given time to get up to speed and work on the physical side of his game before being given his first outing in this unforgiving environment.
Gent’s Jonathan David has also been mentioned in recent weeks, with Borussia Dortmund’s Sancho also being linked with both Liverpool and Chelsea.
With Reece James, Mason Mount and Fikayo Tomori all having established themselves in the first team over the last twelve months, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the next set of graduates step up this summer. Conor Gallagher has enjoyed a productive spell in the EFL Championship with Charlton Athletic and Swansea City whilst Marc Guehi is also currently plying his trade at the Liberty Stadium. Billy Gilmour is the latest player to break through, and the Andres Iniesta-worshipping midfielder has already been linked with a potential move to La Liga.
We are Chels! 💙 pic.twitter.com/PqvzY9J3mr
— Mason Mount (@masonmount_10) March 9, 2020
Although Chelsea can finally dust off the cheque book, the Blues may only opt to spend a modest amount this summer. Their transfer targets show plenty of ambition, yet they also appear to be realistic, and the embargo appears to have helped them become increasingly savvy when it comes to spotting value in the market. They now have a number of talented young players on their books, and with a few exciting and potentially youthful additions being added to the roster later this year, Frank Lampard’s men could be quietly assembling a squad to take them to the next level.