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Opinion: 3 Chelsea players who have impressed in pre-season

All Chelsea players have returned for pre-season barring those sidelined by injury
All Chelsea players have returned for pre-season barring those sidelined by injury
ANALYST
Modified 26 Jul 2019, 19:22 IST
Top 5 / Top 10
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Towards the end of last season, there were some near certainties for Chelsea. Maurizio Sarri seemed on the way out after a decent season marked by a turbulent relationship with the fans, Eden Hazard was set to leave after seven years of stellar work at the club, and the massive grey cloud of a transfer ban loomed large over Stamford Bridge.

The arrival of club legend Frank Lampard saw positivity injected into the club. The early announcement of the new manager and his team also meant that Lampard would have a full pre-season with the squad.

As usual, with the massive loan army returning and first team players missing due to extended spells with the national team or recuperating from injuries, Lampard had to choose who would make the pre-season tour.

Chelsea have played four games so far, beginning with Bohemians FC and St. Patrick's Athletic in Ireland, then moving on to Japan where they played local side Kawasaki Frontale, and old friends Barcelona.

The new gaffer has experimented with different set-ups through these games, playing 4-2-3-1, 4-1-2-1-2 diamond and 4-3-3. The last couple of games have indicated that Lampard is going to start the season with his team in a 4-2-3-1 set-up.

The likes of Kurt Zouma returning from loan at Everton and Kenedy returning from Newcastle have impressed the boss. Even new signing Christian Pulisic has been on top of his game after making the decision to join the squad earlier than planned, despite having competed in the Gold Cup with the USMNT over the summer.

However, there have been a few standout players, who have taken the opportunity with both hands and largely impressed the Chelsea faithful. Here are three of them.


Also See : Durand Cup, Durand Cup Schedule, Durand Cup Points Table.


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#3 Tammy Abraham

Abraham scored in the last game for Chelsea against Barcelona
Abraham scored in the last game for Chelsea against Barcelona

Chelsea's top scorer from last season has already left for Real Madrid. The Londoners were overly reliant on Eden Hazard, who delivered 16 goals and 15 assists last season in the Premier League. Worryingly for Chelsea, he also left a big hole in attack for them.

The highest tally for a striker at Chelsea last season was five goals in the league, shared by Gonzalo Higuain and the striker who left in January, Alvaro Morata.

Olivier Giroud scored only two goals, but in fairness played significantly fewer minutes in the league. In the Europa League, where he served as the primary striker, Giroud netted 11 goals and finished as top scorer.

It increasingly seems like Giroud will be leading the line for Chelsea this season, but pre-season has seen two strikers return from loan spells - Michy Batshuayi and Tammy Abraham.

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Both strikers have done well and are likely to get chances in the first team this season. Especially with Lampard set to test out a formation with two strikers, Abraham provides a more mobile option and is a 'fox-in-the-box' forward, unlike Giroud.

Their abilities complement each other and we're likely to see the striker who scored 26 goals in a promotion campaign with Aston Villa given the chance with Chelsea this season.

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Published 26 Jul 2019, 16:56 IST
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