The Blues were the biggest spenders in Europe last summer, spending in excess of £250 million to strengthen key areas in the squad, while their rivals counted their losses owing to the coronavirus pandemic.
Under the guidance of Frank Lampard, Chelsea were one of the most attack-minded sides in the Premier League last season. However, they were often let down by inconsistencies and inexperience on the field.
They were also plagued by defensive issues exacerbated by the unconvincing performance of Kepa Arrizabalaga between the sticks.
The Spain international became the most expensive goalkeeper in history when he completed a transfer from Athletic Bilbao for €80 million. However, the 26-year-old struggled to keep clean sheets and made several high-profile errors.
The arrival of Edouard Mendy has helped restore some confidence in the Chelsea rearguard, with the Senegal international settling in nicely at Stamford bridge. Other new defensive recruits like Thiago Silva and Ben Chilwell have also helped raise the performance levels of those around them in the team.
Consequently, the West London side are no longer being let down by unnecessary concession of goals and the quality they have in attack has many fans dreaming of glory.
Paul Merson gives his verdict on Chelsea, tips them to be in the title race
Manchester City and Liverpool have raised the ante so high in the Premier League over the last three years that attempting to dethrone them requires performing at similar levels.
In light of this, Frank Lampard has gone to great lengths to play down Chelsea's title aspirations. However, Paul Merson has tipped his hat to the Blues and expressed his thoughts on the club's chances in his column saying:
“If we are going to talk about Tottenham winning the title, then Chelsea are right in the mix. If Spurs can win it, then for sure, Chelsea can win it.
“Frank Lampard has now got who he wants in key positions and you can really see the difference.
“Thiago Silva is world-class. They’ve got two full-backs who are as good as any in the league and for me, they [Reece James and Ben Chilwell] are the two England full-backs, in my opinion. They are outstanding. Silva is also only going to make Kurt Zouma a better player and the goalkeeper Edouard Mendy is solid.
“It’s coming from everywhere too. Hakim Ziyech has got a left foot that can open a can of worms, Timo Werner scores plenty of goals, Tammy Abraham looks like he’s getting better and then there’s Mason Mount. They’ve just got so much attacking talent.”
Chelsea are currently eight matches unbeaten in all competitions, although it remains to be seen whether they will be able to mount a title challenge this year.Published 12 Nov 2020, 21:36 IST