We can all agree that Chelsea is in a phase of transformation. Maurizio Sarri winning the Europa League and then departing after only one year. Then Frank Lampard, the Chelsea legend whose only previous managerial experience before appointment was one season managing Derby County, a team he managed relatively well but could not ultimately get them back to the Premier League. His appointment raised eyebrows especially considering the fact that there was a transfer ban on the club when he stepped in. Getting Chelsea to fourth spot and thereby sealing the last Champions League position was a remarkable achievement as he had to make do with the players that he met at the club- bar Christian Pulisic of course as he was signed before the ban and loaned back to Borussia Dortmund for six months.
Now? A total of six players have come in and counting. Timo Werner (53M EUR), Kai Havertz (80M EUR), Hakim Ziyech (40M EUR), Thiago Silva (Free), Marlang Sarr (Free) and Ben Chilwell (50.20M EUR).
As we can see, a lot of these players commanded heavy fees and would most likely be favorites to start every game for Chelsea. The question is: how does Frank Lampard fit all these players into his team?
Assuming that Chelsea plays with a 4-2-3-1 shape and every player is fit, who plays? Frank Lampard seems to trust Mason Mount especially when you consider how hard he works and the defensive part of his game cannot be neglected. That leaves 3 spaces. Who plays? Considering how Christian Pulisic finished last season, it would also be expected that he starts as well. This would mean that if we assume that Frank Lampard puts players in their best positions, the likes of Mount, Ziyech and Havertz would be vying for a single position. Up front, based on the evidence of the two competitive games Chelsea has played this season, Timo Werner seems to be the preferred option to Tammy Abraham, Chelsea’s highest goal scorer last season. For Olivier Giroud, being the third striker choice may not be the best option for him at this time as the Euros have been rescheduled till next year and his lack of playing time could affect his chances this time around even though he still is Didier Deschamps first choice.
Also, Calum Hodson Odoi seemingly looks like he will continue to be a bit part player for Chelsea.
Ultimately, having a huge squad is good when everything is positive and going smoothly. As history has shown, managing huge signings, their playing time and their egos is never an easy task. This is where Frank Lampard would need to earn his money. There are no more excuses that he can give.