How Chelsea's director helped Lampard boss the summer transfer market
The Chelsea football club has left the summer transfer market abuzz with the deals they have made so far. Hakim Ziyech, Timo Werner, Malang Sarr, Thiago Silva and Kai Havertz are the players they have already penned down a deal with and they are not showing any signs of stopping yet.
Leicester City full-back Ben Chilwell and West Ham midfielder Declan Rice are expected to be Frank Lampard and Co.'s next targets in the transfer market. Having already spent £151m on Ziyech, Werner and Havertz, Chelsea's summer expenditure is expected to go up to £200m once they complete signing up Rice and Chilwell.
It might look like they are completely emptying their purse in order to get the players Lampard wants in his squad, but they are still in a comfortable position in terms of budget -- all thanks to the shrewd business tactics of the club director Marina Granovskaia.
Their success in the transfer market now can be attributed to Granovskaia's vision and long term planning. Last season, she managed to broker a stellar deal for a player like Eden Hazard, who had just one year left on his contract.
Initially, Chelsea were expected to get £88m up front, rising to £130m from Hazard's move to Real Madrid. But according to Voetball, the club is now going to get around £13m more than the expected amount. They got £36m in 2019, £50m in 2020 and should get another £57m next year. So it can be said that Hazard's sale alone made up for the sum Chelsea spent on getting Ziyech, Werner and Havertz.
That wasn't Granovskaia's only masterstroke, though. The fact that she managed to get a combined sum of around £175m by selling three players -- Alvaro Morata, David Luiz and Oscar -- who flopped with their performances for the club, shows how good her business acumen is.
So the Lampard juggernaut might not stop even after acquiring the services of Chilwell and Rice. Granovskaia has ensured that Chelsea have enough to build a young and formidable squad.
Apart from Silva, all of the players they have signed so far are young and have been some of the best players in world football in recent years. That makes it clear that Lampard is building the side with a long-term vision and not for immediate success.
In Timo Werner, they have a proven goal-scoring machine to slot in along with the likes of Christian Pulisic and Tammy Abraham up front. Hakim Ziyech will be the main creative force in Chelsea's midfield now, a chief creator of chances is what Chelsea lacked in their midfield in recent years. Kai Havertz provides flexibility to the side as he can play both as a midfielder and a forward. He is one of the brightest young talents in the world at the moment.
As far as the future signing of Ben Chilwell and Declan Rice is considered, the left-back and central midfield positions came out as two areas of concern for Lampard in the last season. Most teams prefer pacey full-backs in modern-day football and Chilwell fits that bill perfectly. N'Golo Kante's form and fitness have been a concern whereas Jorginho is expected to make a move to Juventus this summer as well. So, Lampard's interest in a 21-year-old Rice, who plays in a holding midfield position and is a long-term prospect as well, is understandable.
Considering all these players Lampard has managed to rope in so far, Chelsea are already looking like a force to reckon with on paper. They finished fourth in the Premier League last season and missed out on major Cup titles like the Europa League even after going into the knockout stages.
The ammunition that Chelsea now have in their arsenal make them prime contenders to be one of the top sides across all competitions in the forthcoming season. If everything goes according to Lampard's plans, the Blues could even become world-beaters for the next decade or so.
Feature image courtesy: AFP / Adrian Dennis
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