While the suspense on when the league season will resume continues, the 2019-20 season has already given a lot of moments for football fans to cherish all over Europe. For Chelsea, it has been an eventful season with Frank Lampard taking charge and a host of academy graduates getting a chance in the first team. Through a roller-coaster season, the Blues have had a lot of memories to celebrate.
While the success that the Blues have achieved has a lot to do with Frank Lampard, Jody Morris and the rest of the coaching staff; a lot of individuals have stepped up to collectively make up for the void left by Eden Hazard. While the Blues have been extremely inconsistent on the pitch, there have been a few players who have tendered the storm and guided the team through the tough phases.
As we prepare for the culmination of the season, here is a look at three players who could win Chelsea's Player of the Year award.
#3 Mateo Kovacic
Making Mateo Kovacic's loan move permanent was the only move that Chelsea were allowed to make in the summer transfer window. Despite him being a part of Real Madrid's squad that won three consecutive Champions Leagues, his signing divided opinions at Stamford Bridge. Not everyone was impressed with what they saw of the Croatian international under Maurizio Sarri.
However, in the current season, he has become one of Chelsea's most dependable players. Playing in a deeper role under Lampard, Kovacic has been extremely effective in the middle of the park. With N'Golo Kante's constant fitness issues, the former Real Madrid man has become the linchpin of the midfield and formed a formidable partnership with Jorginho.
The Croatian has used his ability to dribble past players to effortlessly beat the opposition's press and help Chelsea progress into the final third. According to Squawka, he has completed the fifth most take-ons in the entire league.
In what is a largely young team, Kovacic has stood up and set a benchmark for the team in quality and consistency that is required. His abilities have helped Frank Lampard build a midfield that constantly dominates possession and play his style of football.
#2 Tammy Abraham
The biggest benefactor of Chelsea's transfer ban has undoubtedly been Tammy Abraham. With the club not being able to sign a center-forward after the sale of Alvaro Morata and Gonzalo Higuain returning from his loan spell, it allowed the Englishman to lead the line for his boyhood club. The 22-year old has done justice to the number nine shirt having scored 13 goals in the Premier League and two in the Champions League.
In a season where the Blues have struggled to find consistent goalscorers, Abraham has stood out as a reliable source to put the ball into the back of the net. His goals have won 12 points for Chelsea, showing he has produced the goods when the team needed it the most. He has also contributed to the team's cause with three valuable assists.
Moreover, his overall performances have stood out. Both his hold-up and link-up play have been sublime and helped get the best of attacking players around him. The striker's absence through injury has been desperately felt by Chelsea over the last couple of months showing how valuable a player he has been.
#1 Mason Mount
If there has been one big positive for Chelsea this season then it has been the rise of Mason Mount. Having played under Lampard at Derby County last season, he has shone on being integrated into the first team by Chelsea's record goal-scorer. The Englishman has scored six goals and assisted four and been vital in the West London club's pursuit of Champions League football.
In a year that the club have faced severe injury issues, the 21-year old has featured in all but one game that the Blues have played in all competitions this season. Even at a young age, Mount has stood up for the team during tough times and played through fatigue with the manager short of options. Despite his form taking a major dip before the winter break and him not scoring a single goal for three months before his strike in the last match against Everton, the Englishman is someone who has always tried to make things happen in the attacking third.
His off-the-ball work, pressing, and work rate have been invaluable to the team's cause. Moreover, Mount has been extremely versatile having played as a midfielder, number ten, and winger various times across the season. His ability to play in multiple positions has allowed Lampard to use different tactical set-ups and formations.
Published 20 Mar 2020, 11:53 IST