Frank Lampard has brought in a wave of fresh optimism among Chelsea fans. The Blues are finally playing exciting football. Though this new style of football doesn't always give the desired results on the pitch - at least it is more enjoyable to watch. With an array of academy talent on display, Chelsea finally have a manager who is doing justice to the fantastic youth system at Cobham.
Die-hard fans need not look too far to list out players who didn't get a proper run at Stamford Bridge but went on to make a name for themselves elsewhere. The likes of Mohamed Salah, Kevin De Bruyne and Nathan Ake would walk into any Premier League team today.
Despite the undeniable talent of Tammy Abraham, Mason Mount, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Fikayo Tomori and Reece James - there is something that this current Chelsea team lacks. For all their youthful exuberance there is hardly any experience. Leave aside Azpilicueta (who doesn't always start), Willian, Kante and Jorginho - the rest of the regular starters are all young.
And that is one of the reasons why this team fails to close out games against weaker opposition. Case in point is their performances against the likes of Bournemouth, Southampton and Brighton in the last month. These are all games that a title-challenging team needs to win.
There has been a lot of talk about Lampard and the Chelsea team he played in. So let's look at 3 players that Lampard played alongside during his Chelsea player days, who he would love to have in the team that he now manages.
#3 Ashley Cole
One of the most obvious weaknesses in the current Chelsea lineup is at the left-back spot. Neither Marcos Alonso nor Emerson have been able to hold down a regular starting spot. Lampard has been instead forced to play Azpilicueta out of position. While Alonso is good going forward, his defensive game has always been found lacking. Emerson, on the other hand, hasn't covered himself in glory either despite starting quite a few games.
Who better could Lampard dream of for this position then club legend and one of the greatest left-backs of all time Ashley Cole? It is very difficult to look beyond the man who amassed 338 club appearances for Chelsea over his 8 years at the club. He played 229 games in the league for Chelsea (on top of 156 for Arsenal) keeping 93 clean sheets. Add to that 7 goals and 19 assists.
Cole provided defensive stability and a great outlet going forward as well. With his speed and tactical acumen, he was the best left-back of his generation. With 1 Premier League title, 4 FA Cups, 1 League Cup, 1 Champions League trophy and 1 Europa League trophy - he won everything that there was to win at club level. Lampard would love to have his current youth coach in his starting eleven.