Who would you start on the wing next season?

Chelsea manager Frank Lampard is issuing the board to invest heavily in the squad for next season. For his first season in the Chelsea dugout, Lampard was unable to make any necessary signings in which would strengthen the side he was inheriting from his predecessor Maurizio Sarri. Although Chelsea’s all-time leading goal-scorer couldn’t sign anyone, one American international, Christian Pulisic, signed from Borussia Dortmund in January 2019 was added to the squad.

Furthermore, Lampard has been forced to use youth this season and many players have thrived because of the club’s transfer ban. The likes of Tammy Abraham, Mason Mount and Callum Hudson-Odoi have all featured in Chelsea’s illustrious attack. But, would it have been a different story if the club were able to spend in previous windows?

Chelsea has an abundance of midfielders and that will give Lampard a selection headache from now until the beginning of next season. However, it is the players on the wing that is the current dilemma at the club have shown substantial thought on how they intend to look next season. At the moment Chelsea has four quality wingers in Callum Hudson-Odoi, Christian Pulisic, Willian and Pedro. With two high profile players coming in (Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner) surely Willian and Pedro will be exiting the club as their contracts end on June 30, with neither close to agreeing to an extension.

Formation choices

The Chelsea boss has chopped and changed formation on many occasions this season. The likes of 4-3-3, 4-2-3-1 and even a 3-4-3 have been utilised to get the best outcome in matches. Lampard will know that he has four high-quality players in the wing department to call upon next season. If the manager continues to use either one of these formations, it would work perfectly to have two main starters and allow rotation throughout the longevity of the season.

From observing Lampard’s first season, 4-3-3 is the ideal formation that gets the best out of the players in the XI. Having three central midfielders allows the front three attacking players to exploit the opposition’s defence whilst being limited to defensive responsibilities. However, Lampard isn’t an experienced manager, but he knows when to change formation in-game in order to get the result required.

Who plays and who doesn’t?

Having four wingers in the squad does have its problems. The main reason is that two will have to be sitting on the sidelines waiting for their opportunity if one outfield player isn’t up to par. The club already has four quality wingers at their disposal, but two seem to be on their way out when the season finishes. Pedro looks to have an agreement to move to Italian side Roma, and Willian isn’t close to agreeing to a contract extension, leaving the Brazilian to weigh up his options.

When two players of that calibre leave a club of Chelsea’s stature, you have to act quickly to replace them, and Chelsea has done just that. Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner have already been finalised and Lampard will be able to use them at the start of next season.

Chelsea fans would suggest these signings would go straight into the starting XI. However, the club has two young talents in Callum Hudson-Odoi and Christian Pulisic who will feature a lot next season as both have struggled with injuries. After the season Tammy Abraham has had, he remains the clubs starting striker. But, with the signing of Werner, it does give Lampard versatility as the German can play either off the flank or straight through the middle.

A full-strength Chelsea side has Werner and Ziyech both starting. These two signings will propel Lampard’s side to the next level. Werner a proven goal-scorer, and Ziyech an established creative winger. The blues might not be done spending money in the transfer market. Kai Havertz has been heavily linked with the club in recent weeks and he would be another marquee signing for Chelsea.

For now, Chelsea has four very talented wingers for next season. Christian Pulisic and Callum Hudson-Odoi will have until the end of the season to prove their worth to the manager as they stake a claim for next season. Nevertheless, rotation will be needed and the club will utilise all four respectively. We can all agree that these are exciting times at Chelsea football club, and already it is reminding me of the years when we had Nicolas Anelka, Florent Malouda and Salomon Kalou at the club. Hopefully, our current crop can have the success where Chelsea compete on all fronts next season.

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