Following a stellar transfer window, Chelsea head into the 2020-21 Premier League season with one of the strongest teams in the league.
Less than two months after the 2019-20 Premier League season came to an end, the 2020-21 campaign is set to kick-off this weekend. As the world continues to battle the coronavirus pandemic, Liverpool will have to find a way to defend their title without their boisterous fans at Anfield.
While the Reds were head and shoulders above everyone else last season, they will certainly face a lot more competition from their rivals this time around as each of them have strengthened their sides with the intention of closing the gap between themselves and the champions.
If their transfer activity is anything to go by, Chelsea seem to be hell-bent on giving Jurgen Klopp’s team a real run for their money in the upcoming season. The Blues managed a commendable fourth-place finish in Frank Lampard’s first term in charge and now have set their sights on bigger goals.
After rewriting the club’s history books and giving academy products like Mason Mount and Billy Gilmour a chance last season, Lampard has been on a shopping spree in the transfer window as he looks to add both quality and depth to his side. Following the recent arrivals of Thiago Silva, Kai Havertz, Hakim Ziyech, Ben Chilwell and Malang Sarr, the Blues look like they are going to be a force to be reckoned with this season.
Here are three things we can expect from Chelsea as we head into the 2020-21 Premier League season:
#3 Lampard could take a while to find his best team
Following a string of arrivals at Stamford Bridge, Lampard will certainly have his hands full when it comes to picking his best starting 11. However, it is the kind of headache that any manager would love to have when it comes to finalising his team.
The likes of Havertz, Ziyech and Werner are certain to bolster Chelsea’s attack but the most notable additions that have been made are in defence. Kepa Arrizabalaga is about to be replaced by Edouard Mendy, while Ben Chilwell will take Marcos Alonso’s position at left-back. Both these additions will bring a lot more stability to Chelsea’s defence.
Further up the pitch, Lampard will have to find a way to accommodate all his newly-acquired firepower along with the likes of Christian Pulisic and Mason Mount, who were two of his best players this season. After the high-profile arrival of Havertz, Mount will have to make way for the German international and settle for a place on the bench.
Given his direct style of play and ability to make things happen, Pulisic should be guaranteed his place on the left-wing if Lampard chooses to continue playing the 4-2-3-1 formation which he used last season. Meanwhile, Werner will be the focal point of Chelsea’s attack next season and Blues’ fans will hope that he can replicate the form that made Chelsea pay close to £48 million for him.
Along with his goal-scoring prowess, the German international is also known for his raw pace and his ability to create chances for teammates as well. Werner’s arrival ensures that Olivier Giroud will be used as an impact player from the bench. However, one can be rest assured that if Chelsea are chasing a game during the season, Lampard will definitely play both the strikers together.
#2 Thiago Silva’s performances will be vital for Chelsea
For all the expensive signings that Chelsea have made so far, Thiago Silva’s arrival on a free transfer from PSG is the one that should be making headlines. But since Chelsea had an atrocious defensive record last season and conceded 54 goals in the Premier League, there is a lot riding on his shoulders.
At 35 years of age, the Brazilian is certainly not a long term option for Chelsea. But having played in the Serie A and the Ligue 1, proves that he has the ability to adapt to different leagues around the world and Chelsea fans will hope that he can do it one last time in the Premier League.
Silva can also mentor the likes of Kurt Zouma and Antonio Rudiger, while partnering them at the heart of the team’s defence which will be invaluable to both the youngsters. Silva’s arrival adds some much-needed stability and experience to Chelsea’s backline and Lampard can count on him to lead from the back on the pitch.
Off the pitch, the former PSG man will also be a commanding voice in the dressing room and should be a player that his younger counterparts look up to. Despite his age, Silva will certainly walk into the Chelsea first team as he is way better than all the other players that Lampard has in that position.
Silva’s time at Stamford Bridge might just be his last spell at a top European club and he will not need additional motivation to end on a high. In an unexpected role reversal, a young manager has taken a gamble by signing an experienced player and only time will tell if it is a masterstroke or a mistake.
#3 Lampard and Chelsea will lay the foundations for something special
Lampard’s return as the manager of Chelsea is the kind of romance that every Chelsea fan would have been proud of. But truth be told, no one quite knew what to expect with the Englishman at the helm.
However, Lampard proved his managerial acumen and guided Chelsea to a commendable fourth-place finish in his first season in charge and did so by finally giving academy players a chance to break into the first team.
As Lampard heads into his second season in charge of the club, Roman Abramovich and Marina Granovskaia have rewarded Lampard’s efforts by signing every player that he asked for. As a result, Chelsea now have one of the strongest squads in the league going into the season and have become dark horses to challenge for the Premier League title.
The key to Chelsea’s success this season will be how quickly Lampard discovers his best team and gets them to adapt to his style of football. Once that is done, everything depends on whether the players can remain consistent over the course of the season, especially during the festive period when the games will come thick and fast.
But even if Chelsea do not manage to get their hands on a trophy this season, Lampard has the club moving in the right direction and it will only be a matter of time before the Blues reign supreme over everyone else.
As we head into the 2020-21 Premier League season, Chelsea fans have every reason to be excited as this could be the start of something special for the club with one of their own leading the charge.Published 10 Sep 2020, 09:31 IST