Why Chelsea Should Avoid the Transfer Market Even if Ban Is Overturned

​Following a 4-0 drubbing on the opening day of the 2019/20 Premier League season, it would have been hard to envisage that Chelsea would currently be sat third in the table – one point above reigning champions Manchester City.

But they are. And they most certainly deserve to be.

Frank Lampard’s first league game in charge of the Blues was one to forget, as Manchester United put four past them at Old Trafford without reply.

It was a result that left fans fearing the worst. They lacked organisation defensively, while there was a distinct lack of balance in the side. 

Manchester United v Chelsea FC - Premier League

Since then, the team has only lost once more in the league in 11 games – and this defeat came against runaway leaders Liverpool. 

Lampard has been praised for his desire to promote youth, with Mason Mount, Fikayo Tomori and Tammy Abraham all shining in the league. Of course, the Blues were banned from signing players during the summer after being found guilty of breaking rules in relation to recruiting young players, but this shouldn’t take away from the faith and trust that the current manager has placed in his youngsters.

While this ban is due to run until next summer, there is a growing optimism that it could be lifted in January.

The Stamford Bridge club ​are believed to be keen on bringing in players to fill three key positions, with the likes of Sergej Milinkovic-Savic among others being linked with a move to the club in recent weeks.

Frank Lampard

The thing is, this would be completely the wrong thing to do.

A ​survey conducted by the Mirror in July 2018 revealed that Chelsea were in fact…the most hated club in the Premier League according to fans from every club in the division. A whopping 68.7% of fans put the west London side at the top of their list. That’s quite something. 

So yes, ​Chelsea were in fact disliked. But this has changed, many are beginning to hold a soft spot for the SW6 side and their manager.

Lampard has allowed his youngsters to go and play free-flowing attacking football and this has guaranteed goals. In addition, a never say die attitude has been instilled into the team by their manager, with a number of performances this season backing this up.

Most recently, ​the Blues came back from 4-1 down to draw with Ajax in the Champions League – and in turn, they kept their hopes of progressing to the next stage of the competition alive. This performance was filled with heart, desire and most importantly, a sense of team unity.

So often these days, high profile and talented players have attempted to carry the mantle alone, without the help of their teammates and this has proven detrimental. However, Chelsea’s Champions League display at home to Ajax encapsulated exactly why no reinforcements are needed in January even if the ban is overturned.

When Tammy Abraham clipped the ball into his own net early in the match, his teammates rallied around him and encouraged him to go and make amends. The Englishman looked sharp from that moment, working hard and created chances for himself and others. 

Similarly, when Marcos Alonso was hooked at half time for a poor showing, many questioned his replacement – a 19-year-old Reece James. Sure, the club rate him highly, but it was yet another reminder of Lampard’s levels of trust with this group as he put his faith in the full back to come on and be the man to make the difference.

Reece James

The outcome?

He orchestrated the comeback and even chipped in with a goal himself. Money cannot buy this understanding. 

Throughout the team, each individual player is improving with each passing game and the transformation of certain fringe players is unquestionable. The likes of ​Mateo Kovacic and Kurt Zouma have taken their games to the next level this season and have become fixtures in the side.

Following Zouma’s unfortunate injuries, few would have predicted that he would have a future at the club and yet he is playing week in, week out – and this has helped him reignite his international career, as well. As for Kovacic, he made 32 Premier League appearances last season, but only managed to complete a full 90 minutes in two of those games. This season, he has been irreplaceable, constantly driving forward with pace and skill. 

One argument that has been made repeatedly by fans who are keen to see Chelsea dive into the transfer market in January, if the ban is overturned, is that there is a lack of squad depth. 

However, such is the fine form of Chelsea at the moment, it would be easy to forget that the likes of Antonio Rudiger, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Ross Barkley and more have all struggled this season with injuries.

These were all key members of the squad last season and they will add strength in depth once they return, also making it a very competitive squad. 

Certain fans have deemed a number of players ‘not good enough’ and have even made their opinions known during matches, for example when there were calls for “Tammy! Tammy! Tammy!” during the club’s tussle with ​Manchester United in the Carabao Cup. They wanted Abraham to come on and replace Batshuayi, but the Belgian scored a stunning goal four minutes later.

Lampard has built a squad that he trusts and one that is performing. With key players set to return, the team will only get stronger and, as a result, it would be criminal to invest in January if the transfer ban is lifted. 


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