How Deadly is Chelsea in the Next Season?

Chelsea gave a surprise lately through a fairly aggressive transfer movement. Major media reported that Chelsea were trying to bring in two players for next season, Timo Werner and Ben Chilwell, following Judge Ziyech, who had agreed to join in February. Sky Sports journalist Fabrizio Romano even said Werner would soon join Chelsea, while Chilwell was still in the process.

This season Chelsea did not look bad considering they returned to have a new coach. The all-time top scorer and living legend of the Blues, Frank Lampard was appointed as a coach despite the lack of experience in designing a team. The challenge is compounded by a transfer ban last summer and the departure of Eden Hazard from Stamford Bridge. Lampard responded to this challenge by giving confidence to young players who are also reliable despite having just had their first season in the Chelsea first team.

Armed with growing young players such as Tammy Abraham, Mason Mount, Callum Hudson-Odoi, and Christian Pulisic up front, Chelsea are in fourth position, five points behind Leicester in third place. If all of the transfer targets are successful, what are the options for Lampard in making the line-up and how scary will Chelsea be next season?

Timo Werner

Although reportedly will strengthen Liverpool next season, now Werner is more inclined to join Chelsea. Liverpool reportedly objected to meeting Werner’s release clause for € 60 million in the midst of the crisis because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Meanwhile, Maria Granovskaia, as director of Chelsea, will soon complete the business process and Lampard has spoken with Werner from a technical perspective.

This season, the German has scored 31 goals and 13 assists in 41 matches in all competitions. Werner majority played as a striker in the formation of two strikers who were carried by Julian Naglesmann at RB Leipzig, accompanying Yussuf Poulsen. But Werner’s heatmaps below show he was given the freedom to move, especially to the left side. Werner can use high speed and acceleration to defeat opponents on the wing to then attack the central area through good dribbling skills.

Poulsen is a 193 cm striker who plays to hold the ball and win an air duel, the right mix for Werner who relies more on speed. A similar combination can be used by Lampard while still using Abraham to provide physical presence on the front lines, while Werner will randomize the opponent’s defense from the left side as the inside forward.

The 24-year-old Werner will provide new energy in the Chelsea wing position filled with old players like Willian and Pedro, and provide internal competition for Pulisic. Regarding internal competition, this can be a stimulus for players to become better. One of them when Didier Drogba scored 20 goals for the first time in the Premier League after the arrival of Andriy Shevchenko. If Lampard will play Werner as the main striker, he can also provide competition for Abraham.

Ben Chilwell

The left back position has been a problem for Chelsea since last season. Typical Marcos Alonso is a wingback in a three-back formation because he is able to help attack well, but has difficulty in terms of defense in a four-back formation. While Emerson is still less consistent and unable to lift team performance. Chilwell’s slick performance with Leicester is expected to be able to fill Chelsea’s shortcomings in this position despite the remaining four-year contract making the English player priced expensive, reaching 60 million.

Despite the exorbitant price, the 23-year-old is able to defend and attack just as well. His young age also gives him plenty of time to improve quality. Chilwell is also no stranger to Premier League competitions, plus he certainly knows a number of Chelsea players who both play in the England national team.

If Werner plays on the left and makes many moves to the central area, Chelsea will need a player who can widen the playing area. Chilwell can carry this role better than Alonso and Emerson. From the defense aspect, the energy he has can help Chelsea when hit by a counterattack.

Hakim Ziyech

Ziyech can give color to Chelsea’s front line as a left-handed player operating on the right side, while Reece James can widen the playing area and cross from the wing. Ziyech’s slick performance proves he can play at a higher level than the Eredivisie, although his quality is also proven at the European level when he was able to bring Ajax to the Champions League semi-finals last season. The 27-year-old’s experience will be a good mix with Chelsea’s young squad.

Although he does not have speed like the other Chelsea’s wingers, Ziyech’s creativity will strengthen Chelsea in the final third of the field. He successfully scored 21 assists from 35 matches in all competitions this season. The Moroccan player was able to make 3.7 key passes per match, almost double that of Pedro, who was first in the Chelsea player for key passes with a record of 1.9 key passes per match.

The dominant left foot makes Ziyech will often bring the ball to the central area to distribute the ball, change the direction of attack, or make a direct cross into the opponent’s penalty box. A cross from Ziyech’s right side can be used by Abraham as a striker, Werner as an inside forward who can attack the opponent’s penalty box, or even Chilwell who overlaps.

Formation

Lampard doesn’t need to change formations to change Chelsea’s style of play. Different types of players and instructions that utilize the power of new players can be done to strengthen Chelsea’s squad next season. The 4-2-3-1 and 4-3-3 formations he often uses this season can still be used. Werner provides speed on the left wing and Ziyech gives creativity on the right wing. Both tendencies to move to half space provide space for energetic wing-backs in Chilwell and James in overlapping.

If they want to play attack, 4-2-3-1 can be an option by using Mason Mount as a hole attacker, while N’Golo Kante and Mateo Kovacic provide a balance for Chelsea’s game. Kante can be mounted on the left side to anticipate the space left by Werner. Mount cruising makes it able to help the left and right sides and do high pressings like he did this season. When facing very strong opponents, 4-3-3 can be used to provide stability in midfield.

The arrival of high profile players will certainly strengthen the team that last won the Premier League in the 2016-17 season. Lampard will form a strong foundation if Chelsea get all their transfer targets. Chelsea can interfere with Liverpool and Manchester City in the race for the Premier League title, but the dominance of both is still difficult to tear down next season. If there are no extraordinary surprises, Chelsea still need time to win the title. Changes to be made by Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspurs must also not be forgotten.

The work of Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola in building teams is not an overnight job. Klopp found pieces of the puzzle little by little until finally Virgil Van Dijk and Alisson Becker completed the Liverpool squad. The teamwork and work ethic that Klopp built also needed time so that Liverpool could be as strong as now. Likewise with Pep, the adaptation of the principle of playing Pep with the demands of the Premier League also requires a process.

The arrival of new players will also not be felt if the old players do not improve performance. They must continue to improve quality so that they can take Chelsea to a higher level. Lampard also had to continue team building such as finding a world-class center back, bringing up leaders in the dressing room along with age and minutes of playing Cesar Azpilicueta who was no longer ideal, and forming a strong team together.

Lampard must also be able to provide results so that the club’s management remains trusted as a coach and can continue the foundation that has been made. He certainly understood very well how cruel Chelsea in the era of Roman Abramovich. In total there were nine coaches in 13 years of Lampard’s career as a Chelsea player. But if Werner and Chilwell are brought in successfully, Chelsea are in the right direction.

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