Chelsea did not make any major additions to their squad over the last two transfer windows. Frank Lampard, in his first season, has done well with a squad that seems to have a good balance of youth and experience.
However, there is a strong possibility that he will want to build a squad in his own image, meaning there could be some players from the current roster who could be shown the door come summer.
With that in mind, we take a look at the Chelsea squad and assess who might stay at the club beyond the summer and who might not.
Spaniard Kevin Arrizabalaga’s future was up in the air after Lampard dropped him from the first-team in February. Ever since, Chelsea have been linked with a new goalkeeper.
However, upon returning, Arrizabalaga performed well. Moreover, given the current situation, the Blues might want to refrain from spending on a new goalkeeper and invest in other areas that need immediate reinforcements.
The Argentine got a handful of games when Kepa was benched but failed to make much of an impression. And with the 38-year-old's contract set to expire at the end of the season, his time at Stamford Bridge is drawing to a close.
Perhaps the Blues might push someone like Jamal Blackman or Nathan Baxter into the second-choice goalkeeping role next season.
German international Antonio Rudiger has endured an injury-riddled campaign, which hasn’t quite allowed him to play at his best. However, with his experience and leadership, Rudiger is an important member and is expected to stay at Chelsea.
Kurt Zouma (R) is a valuable squad player who could be retained. Photo courtesy: AFP / Adrian Dennis
There is no doubting his commitment to the cause but Kurt Zouma doesn’t quite fit the mould of the ball-playing defenders Lampard wants in his team. However, the Frenchman is valuable as a squad player and could only be pushed out if Chelsea bring in a new centre-back.
Used sparingly early on in the campaign, Danish centre-half Andreas Christensen had become a regular in the latter half of the season with some impressive performances. Young, reliable and an academy product, Christensen isn’t going anywhere.
One of Chelsea’s breakout stars of the season, Fikayo Tomori has impressed in his first full season with the first-team and signed a long-term contract only in December last year.
Despite having had a number of opportunities, Italian full-back Emerson Palmieri has never been able to establish himself at Chelsea. Lampard is on the lookout for a new left-back in the summer, meaning Palmieri’s time at the Bridge is up and a return to Italy is on the cards.
Spaniard Marcos Alonso hasn’t done enough to justify being the first-choice left-back at Chelsea. However, his performances just before the season was suspended showed he can be counted upon when needed and should buy him some time at the club.
Captain Cesar Azpilicueta continues to perform week in week out, even though there has been a dip in form. With still two years on his current contract, Azpilicueta is going nowhere, although we might see him being slowly phased out of first-team with Reece James taking over as the first-choice right-back.
The future of the club, academy graduate Reece James has shone bright in his debut season with Chelsea, and he has signed an extension till 2025 in January earlier this year.
28-year-old Maurizio Sarri favourite Jorginho has been a key player for Chelsea under Lampard. The current vice-captain of Chelsea has plenty left to offer, given his experience and quality.
It has been a difficult campaign for diminutive Frenchman N’Golo Kante, with injuries hampering him throughout. Recent reports have claimed that he is seen as a surplus to requirements by Lampard.
However, given his quality, it is hard to see Chelsea offloading him this summer.
Croatian international mateo Kovacic has had a solid season in the middle of the park and established himself as one of the first names on Lampard’s teamsheet.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek is a key component of Chelsea's future plans. Photo courtesy: AFP / Oliver Greenwood
Another midfielder who has been on the treatment tables for much of the season, Ruben Loftus-Cheek is seen as the present and the future of the club. Extremely talented, the midfielder will have a key role to play when football resumes.
Englishman Ross Barkley has had a stop-start campaign, but was growing in stature prior to Premier League being suspended. Given his obvious talent, it is frustrating to not see him perform at his best week in week out, but Chelsea are likely to give him another season to come good.
18-year-old Billy Gilmour has made a huge impression in his last couple of first-team appearances and Lampard has been singing praises of the midfielder. Expect him to become a more regular feature next season.
Marco van Ginkel
Dutchman Marco van Ginkel hasn’t played for Chelsea for so long, that people might have already forgotten that he is still on the club’s books. The 27-year-old has been on the sidelines, recovering from a chronic knee problem all throughout the season.
With his contract up at the end of the season, it seems unlikely that Chelsea will be offering an extension, given the plethora of options at Lampard’s disposal.
Another beneficiary of Lampard’s trust in youth, Mason Mount has become a regular for Chelsea and has broken into the England national team. Mount signed a contract till 2024 not very long ago.
Chelsea No. 10 Willian is in the final few months of his contract. Negotiations over a new deal have hit a roadblock, casting serious doubts over his future.
With plenty of suitors out there, we might see the Brazilian opt to move on at the end of the season.
USMNT international Christian Pulisic had shown brief glimpses of his abilities before picking up an injury. An exciting talent, Pulisic has a bright future at Chelsea.
Another experienced pro whose contract is on the verge of expiry, Pedro has stated that he is keen on leaving and should get his wish when the season comes to a closure.
England international Callum Hudson-Odoi hasn’t played as regularly as he would have liked this season, with intermittent injuries hampering his development.
Bayern Munich have made no secret of their interest in the winger, but having signed a new long-term contract last September, Hudson-Odoi is expected to be a prominent player under Lampard moving forward.
World Cup-winning striker Olivier Giroud was largely frozen out of the first-team picture by Lampard in the first-half of the season but an injury to Abraham forced him to bring Giroud back into the fold and the veteran showed what he brings to the table with a couple of important goals.
However, his contract expires at the end of the season and former Chelsea boss Antonio Conte is keen on a reunion at Inter Milan.
The biggest beneficiary of Chelsea’s transfer ban in the last summer is Tammy Abraham. Thrust into the role of the first-choice striker, Abraham has thrived, although he did suffer a dip in form since the turn of the year.
Belgian international Michy Batshuayi hasn’t been able to convince us of his abilities during his time at Chelsea, apart from that brilliant loan spell at Borussia Dortmund.
With just a year left on his contract and Lampard looking for reinforcements, his future hangs in the balance. However, with Giroud certain to leave, Chelsea might hold on to him in order to avoid being too thinly stretched in the attacking department.
Feature image courtesy: AFP / Glyn Kirk
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author's and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SportsAdda.