Having spent in excess of £200million since his arrival back at Chelsea, Frank Lampard has struggled to build a consistent team. The signings have been abundant, and the names easy to remember. Chelsea have built a young, continental team that carries a unique variety of players and an interesting, deep selection of players for each position. However, despite having among the most impressive squads in the Premier League, Lampard has found it hard to get the flow going to build a title challenge. Key to his issues in the 2020-21 season has been the lack of fire from key summer signings, Timo Werner and Kai Havertz.
However, things could soon change for the duo, Lampard believes – and it could be the catalyst Chelsea need. While Chelsea have long had a history of making major singings, often the biggest and most ‘Hollywood’ of signings have failed to fire after Jose Mourinho first excited in 2018. Where Chelsea have often found success since is investing heavily in younger players with already impressive profiles and resumes, such as Eden Hazard and N’Golo Kante. Therefore, the lack of quality from Werner and Havertz – both young yet experienced players ready to contribute today – has been puzzling.
Lampard, though, believes that things will soon turn for the duo as they look to find their best form in a Chelsea shirt. After playing their role in a 4-0 win against Morecambe in the FA Cup, the duo looked a little more like the players seen in the Bundesliga to such impressive effect. However, the coach was quick to back both players recently, telling radio station talkSPORT: The people that question them should look at other top players that have come at a young age to this country,
‘Eden Hazard being a great example. He came here and became one of our greater players ever.
‘It’s not an easy transition to this league. It’s a hard league and I think people that question them should give them time because they are great lads and we signed them for now and the future.’
Having been continually positive about both players in public since he returned, Lampard further backed the duo, saying: ‘I understand the questions as it’s the world we live in. They will prove to be big players for the club.’
For many, though, the results need to come quicker. Chelsea have struggled to build a consistent gameplan from week to week, and concerns over the gaps in the team have been long-term issues under Lampard. Though a well-respected player at Chelsea and throughout the game, it would not be the first time that Chelsea have given up on a plan when results have hit a poor patch.
The club was once seen as the sole exception to the concept that manages needed time. Since Roman Abramovich bought the club, many coaches have come and gone – some mid-season – without having a long-term impact on the trophy cabinet. However, with many of the best coaches occupied in jobs or unlikely to return to Chelsea having already been, could Abramovich stick with a young, club-affiliated coach instead?