When Chelsea signed Timo Werner (£47.7m) and Kai Havertz (£71m) for a mixed £118.7m final summer season, it was clear the membership have been making a long-term funding sooner or later. At 24 and 21, respectively, the 2 German forwards arrived at Stamford Bridge with solely vivid issues forward of them, and Chelsea overcame competitors from Europe’s prime golf equipment to get the offers performed.
It was the same story with Hakim Ziyech (£36m from Ajax), Ben Chilwell (£50m from Leicester) and Edouard Mendy (£22m from Rennes). Chelsea spent large within the build-up to the 2020-21 season as a result of they not solely wished, and wanted, to strengthen supervisor Frank Lampard’s squad, however as a result of billionaire proprietor Roman Abramovich and govt director Marina Granovskaia have been decided to future-proof the workforce and be sure that the membership might compete for main honours for the subsequent 5-10 years.
Planning forward is the essential precept of any sensible enterprise and Chelsea have at all times performed offers with at the least one eye on the longer term ever since Abramovich purchased the membership in 2003. His method has at all times been pretty easy: purchase the highest gamers, then depart the supervisor to get the perfect out of them and ship a return on the funding within the type of main trophies. And as 2021 marks the 18th yr of the Abramovich period at Chelsea, nothing has modified, which is why Lampard will know that the warmth is on to satisfy the usual set by the membership’s demanding Russian proprietor.
No Chelsea supervisor appointed by Abramovich has been in cost for longer than two seasons with out successful a trophy, placing Lampard beneath stress earlier than a ball had been kicked this marketing campaign following the failure to win silverware throughout his first yr within the job. However sources have informed ESPN that Lampard might but develop into the primary supervisor to interrupt that cycle if he doesn’t win a trophy this season.
Abramovich and Granovskaia perceive the membership is in a transitional interval and that the person who loved enormous success as a Chelsea participant is making the workforce youthful and hungrier by giving probabilities to the likes of Mason Mount, Tammy Abraham and Billy Gilmour. Nonetheless, take away his standing as a Chelsea legend, which has afforded Lampard the endurance that others wouldn’t have had, and his outcomes up to now have really been beneath par. His workforce begin 2021 outdoors the highest 4, having misplaced three of their final 5 Premier League video games, and as Abramovich has proven prior to now, if a workforce isn’t performing to his excessive requirements, it’s the supervisor who pays the worth quite than the gamers.
If Lampard is to outlive and prosper as Chelsea supervisor, he must ship higher outcomes and higher performances from his costly gamers. There could be no escaping the truth that Lampard is failing to make the Werner and Havertz signings work, and that doesn’t bode properly for the 42-year-old. The fast problem is to discover a option to get Werner scoring once more and decide on an appropriate function for Havertz, who has seemed misplaced in a Chelsea shirt up to now.
Werner has scored simply 4 Premier League targets in 16 appearances to this point and hasn’t scored any in his final 12 appearances for the membership in all competitions. Lampard has deployed him by the centre and out large, however nothing seems to be working and Werner’s confidence is diminishing with each sport. He was taken off after simply 45 minutes of the 3-1 defeat at Arsenal and dropped to the bench for Monday’s 1-1 draw in opposition to Aston Villa, so he cannot be assured of a beginning spot in opposition to Manchester Metropolis on Sunday.
Don Hutchison reveals his very best Chelsea XI, which depends on the provision of summer season signing Hakim Ziyech.
Had been it not for Olivier Giroud scoring eight targets in his final eight video games, the highlight on Werner’s failings can be much more intense. Giroud, who Chelsea have been ready to let go final January, has saved his workforce and supervisor from some severe scrutiny along with his performances in latest weeks.
But whereas Werner is clearly struggling, Havertz is having a fair worse time than his Germany teammate. His inexperience is an element and Havertz wants time to regulate to English soccer, however if you find yourself signed for £71m, endurance is in brief provide.
Lampard seems to not know the right way to use Havertz. The teenager was performed on the suitable by Leverkusen and admits to preferring the function of a No. 10, however he has not clicked in Lampard’s system, the place he even performed as a central ahead within the early-season defeat in opposition to Liverpool.
What occurs subsequent is a take a look at of Lampard’s teaching and managerial abilities. In his first job at Derby and in yr one at Chelsea, he succeeded by giving younger gamers an opportunity and permitting the extra senior professionals to do what has at all times served them greatest. However he’s now being anticipated to lift the bar and show that he can work with top-quality stars in addition to kids. If he fails, historical past exhibits that one other supervisor will quickly be requested to tackle that very same activity.