Frank Lampard has dangled a transfer window carrot to Chelsea fans, and get set for the Chelsea transfer news cycle to spin into overdrive.
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Lampard spoke to the media ahead of Chelsea’s huge clash with Manchester City on Sunday at Stamford Bridge (start time 11:30am ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com) and was asked about their potential transfer dealings in January.
His response was equal parts realistic and curious, as it seems he is keen to dip into the market but only if they can move on players during the winter window.
“I have ideas. We have a big squad, we’ll have to see if that changes, if there are opportunities for players who aren’t playing so much. That will be a conversation between the player, club and myself,” Lampard said. “Then we’ll see if we can strengthen in the right way, but we’re not jumping up and down to do so. My focus this year is purely on work because we have new players, because we have young players, so I’m focusing on that. But we’ll see, it’s a long month.”
What business do Chelsea need to do in January?
If they want to take that next step they need another two quality center backs. Minimum. So we can expect Chelsea transfer news columns to link them with Dayot Upamecano, Kalidou Koulibaly and David Alaba for the next month…
Declan Rice is their main target as he can play as a holding midfielder and at center back, although it seems likely that Frank Lampard will work with what he has after a huge spend on several new stars last summer.
That said, he needs to have a clear out as the likes of Jorginho, Andreas Christensen, Fikayo Tomori, Kepa and Emerson are far from happy with their general lack of playing time. If Chelsea can move a lot of those players on, Lampard will have freed up a lot of space in his wage bill.
If he can clear out a few in January, getting a star center back to partner Thiago Silva is key and would make a huge difference to their top four hopes and also their chances of kicking on in the UEFA Champions League. But it will cost a lot of money. It is perhaps best to wait to make a big move for Declan Rice in the summer.
As for other areas to strengthen, veteran Olivier Giroud (out of contract in the summer) is their main main up top but Tammy Abraham could replace him given his recent form, while Timo Werner will surely play more in a central role after his struggles out wide.
Simply put, Lampard has been given funds to spend on lots of talented players and now he’s under pressure to get the best out of them. Lampard is clearly hoping for more buys in the transfer market, though. Watch this space.