Chelsea began their transfer season for the next 2020-21 Premier League season under Frank Lampard early, with the addition of Moroccan winger Hakim Ziyech in March before the world was shut down due to the global pandemic. The 27-year-old attacker, who is currently with AFC Ajax, will now be joined by RB Leipzig FC's Timo Werner in what is looking like the beginning of a coup at the West London based club.
Chelsea confirmed the signing of Germany international on Thursday, and while sending out a video message for his new fans, the Leipzig forward said, "I am delighted to be signing for Chelsea, it is a very proud moment for me to be joining this great club. I, of course, want to thank RB Leipzig, the club and the fans for four fantastic years. You will forever be in my heart."
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"I look forward to next season with my new team-mates, my new manager and of course the Chelsea fans. Together we have a very successful future ahead of us," Werner said.
Werner, who was reportedly on the radar of Liverpool and Bayern Munich, joins Chelsea on a five-year deal and will reportedly earn £170,000 per week at Stamford Bridge. He is set to remain at RB Leipzig for the rest of the Bundesliga season and will link up with his new team ahead of the next season, subject to passing a medical examination.
Frank Lampard was brought in to replace Italian legend Maurizio Sarri, with Chelsea winning the Europa League -- their first European triumph since winning the Europa League during the 2012-13 season under Roberto DI Matteo. Lampard was previously manager of championship side Derby County, who he helped to the Championship playoffs, finishing sixth during the 2018–19 Championship season.
Lampard made it clear from the get-go that youth players were the priority, having worked with the likes of Mason Mount and Fikayo Tomori at Derby Count. This signals an end to the older guard at the club.
Departure of Pedro and Willian to build funds for young stars
Two veteran players of the Chelsea squad are said to give way for the future of the club – Pedro and Willian. The wingers were part of Chelsea’s last title-winning campaign in 2016-17 under Antonio Conte, but the club are set to release the players to ease their pockets in bracing for the financial crunch due to the pandemic.
Ben Chilwell, Kai Havertz and Flamengo midfielder Gedson are the three players rumoured to be joining the young guns at Chelsea, adding to Tomori, Mount, Christian Pulisic and Tammy Abraham, and now, Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner.
With Chelsea looking to fill the void created after the departure of Eden Hazard, along with the money received with the departure of Alvaro Morata means the Blues are ready to mobilise for the future.
Roman Abramovich needs patience with Frank Lampard
Since the takeover of the club by Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich, the Chelsea board has shown a propensity to sack their managers quite early in their careers. Since the takeover, the club has seen seven different managers. The most successful being Jose Mourinho, who had five years at the club spread over two tenures.
Frank Lampard might be the first Chelsea manager who might be unable to win any silverware during his time, albeit due to the global pandemic. However, Lampard knows the club well, having played for Chelsea 429 times over 13 years at the club. His vision for the club finds the Blues at fourth in the Premier League table before the suspension of the league. He has impressed the hierarchy, who have backed him with a strong kitty, so it will be interesting to see how long the Blue legend sticks around.
Frank Lampard’s pedigree makes him one for the future
After a disastrous start to his time at the club, with a 4-0 loss to Manchester, Lampard steadied the ship. A strong season in October that saw Chelsea maintain a 100 percent win record earned him the Premier League Manager of the Month award. Their Champions League record has been quite good as well, losing just their opening fixture against Valencia.
A lack of experience among Chelsea’s youth can be taken as the prime reason the team is yet to click. However, with speedy options on the wings in the form of Hakim Ziyech and Callum Hudson-Odoi, both of whom are pipped to succeed at the club, Chelsea finally look like a compact team which is primed to explode in a season or two. That is, if Lampard is given the time to perform under the finicky Chelsea board and prove himself to be as good a manager as he was as a player.
Feature image courtesy: AFP / Odd Andersen
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