15th August 2021 , Chelsea Transfer News Roundup

Tammy Abraham

Abraham flew from London to Rome with Tiago Pinto (Roma director).

A large crowd of Roma fans greeted Tammy Abraham at the airport and then he went to do his medical.

Tammy will now have to obtain a visa to complete his move to Roma.

Abraham completed his medical and is now ready to sign his contract.

An announcement is expected soon. (DiMarzio)

Salary around €4/5m net per season.

Chelsea will receive €40m plus €5m add ons on permanent deal. €80m buy-back clause starting from June 2023. (Fabrizio Romano)


Flamengo have since agreed the loan deal outlined here with Chelsea for Kenedy. It’s a loan with an option to buy for 10m euros. (Nizaar Kinsella)

Matt Miazga

Miazga, meanwhile, seems set to join Alaves but the structure of the deal is still being discussed. With just one year left on his Blues contract, Chelsea will likely ask to extend that deal by one year before allowing him to leave on loan. (Goal)

Timo Werner

Werner definitely wants to stay at Chelsea this season. He even sees the move from Lukaku as an opportunity, because it means he could switch to his favorite position behind him. Inter has inquired about him but no chance. (Plettigoal)

Tiemoue Bakayoko

AC Milan have been challenged by Rennes and Lyon for the signing of Bakayoko.

Bakayoko will leave Chelsea in the coming days. (Daniele Longo)

Written by Frankie

How Have Chelsea Changed Since Their Last Champions League Final?

The UEFA Champions League is the most coveted European cup competition. Chelsea FC are one of ten teams who have won this prestigious competition once in their existence, and are looking to double that tally when they face Manchester City on the 29th of May. Chelsea won their solo Champions League title back in 2012, when Didier Drogba slotted home the winning penalty in a 1-1 draw againt German superpowers Bayern Munich. But what has changed at the club since that fabled night in Munich?


Nine years is a relatively long time but seems to be a lifetime in football.

The penalty shootout victory over Bayern Munich wrote the etched the names of a special group of players in the history books, with Didier Drogba, Petr Cech, and a left-midfield Ryan Bertrand heralded for their roles in the Blues’ victory. Not a single player from that star studded remains at Chelsea – and you can see why, it has been 9 years since we’re back in the Champions League, and players that were in their prime in 2012, are now either retired or at smaller clubs (David Luiz at Arsenal comes to mind), playing in the twilight years of their careers.

Petr Cech, Jose Bosingwa, Ashley Cole, Frank Lampard, Didier Drogba, Ross Turnbull, Michael Essien, Paulo Ferreira, Florent Malouda and Fernando Torres have all hung up their boots on illustrious careers, while the likes of David Luiz, Juan Mata, Gary Cahill, John Obi Mikel, Ryan Bertrand, Salomon Kalou and Oriol Romeu continue to ply their trades at different clubs, scattered across the world.

2012 UCL winning team

After years of rebuilding, Chelsea seem to have a star studded squad reminiscent of Chelsea back in 2012 , with talisman Mason Mount emerging as the team’s driving force. Eduoard Mendy, Chelsea’s Senegalese goalkeeper, who signed from Rennes this season, is doing his best Petr Cech impression – keeping 8 clean sheets in the UCL, a backline consisting of a permutation of Cesar Azpilicueta, Thiago Silva, Andreas Christensen, Antonio Rudiger and Kurt Zouma playing their best football and ensuring that Mendy’s job is reduced. Jorginho has been revived under Thomas Tuchel and has been a revelation playing in a pivot with the likes of N’golo Kante, Billy Gilmour and Matteo Kovacic. The wingbacks’ Reece James and Ben Chilwell too have developed into instrumental players for the squad. A huge summer spree, netted the likes of Timo Werner, Kai Havertz and Hakim Ziyech who join the likes of Tammy Abraham, Christian Pulisic, Olivier Giroud and Callum Hudson Odoi to create a lethal and world class strike force. I’d go as far as saying that the talent the present squad possesses is on par with the 2012 squad.

2021 UCL winning team


Since 2012 Chelsea have gone from Roberto Di Matteo, who arrived mid season, won them them the Champions League, and was promptly sacked – to Thomas Tuchel , another manager who has arrived midway through the season, but doesn’t look sack-able in the least.

Di Matteo took charge of a squad that was still fighting for a Champions League spot in the Premier League, and for a place in the quarter finals of the FA Cup and the Champions League. Chelsea could still win two trophies, though Torres scoring a hat trick looked more likely at that time. What Boas lacked in man-management, Di Matteo had it in him plentiful. He got the ‘old guard’ of Chelsea performing as if they were in their prime. Lampard, Drogba, Terry were at the center of Chelsea victories with a good supporting cast of Ivanovic and Ramires. The team overturned the deficit against Napoli and waltzed into the UCL semifinals. What happened next, possibly changed their season. Playing against probably the best team of our time, a resilient Chelsea team managed to beat Barcelona over two legs and even avoided defeat at the Camp Nou despite being down to 10 men. Spurred by this confidence, Di Matteo’s team went on to beat Liverpool in the FA Cup finals. Towards the end of the season, Roberto di Matteo seemed to give up on his team’s chances in the Premier League, often playing second-string line ups even against teams like Arsenal and Liverpool. But, having gambled next season’s UCL qualification on winning the UCL tournament itself, paid off when they defeated Bayern Munich in Munich.

When Tuchel took over, though, he never gave the impression that Chelsea were a team crying out for huge repairs. He looked at his squad, found little wrong with it and simply tweaked the system, switching to a 3-4-2-1 formation that gave them a better structure. Chelsea look impenetrable at the moment, with Édouard Mendy impressing in goal. They have kept 18 clean sheets in Tuchel’s first 24 games and look equipped to take on City in Istanbul on 29 May. Tuchel has already recorded one big win against Guardiola this season, outwitting his friend when Chelsea won their FA Cup semi-final against City last month.

The natural temptation is to hark back to previous mid-season managerial changes by Abramovich, who saw Avram Grant take Chelsea to the Champions League final in 2008 and Roberto Di Matteo win the tournament four years later. But this is different. Chelsea were on auto-pilot under Grant and they had plenty of luck under Di Matteo. There is no comparison to be made with this controlled run under Tuchel.

P.S Here’s a fun thread for you to enjoy comparing 2012 to 2021 in the footballing world, and explaining why this is Chelsea’s year

Chelsea v West Brom: Match Preview

After a tedious international break, Chelsea are back in action, as the Blues await a struggling West Brom side, who are fighting for their lives in the top flight. The reverse fixture provided a game that delivered more than expected at the Hawthorns, as the Baggies struck gold as they led Chelsea 3-0 at half time. The Blues dug deep to find their feet in the second half, with goals from Callum Hudson Odoi, Mason Mount and Tammy Abraham levelling the game. Despite the surprise earlier in the season, Chelsea are clear favourites coming into this fixture, with Thomas Tuchel’s side now unbeaten in 15. Thomas Tuchel also scooped the Premier League Manager of the Month award for March, following an astonishing opening to his stint as Chelsea boss.

Despite their league position, West Brom are not in woeful form. With just two losses in their last five, and two goals conceded, Sam Allardyce’s side will hope to keep Chelsea on the back foot. The West Midlands side are still a fair way from safety, but a big result at Stamford Bridge could really turn their season around, as time is running out.

Player updates and news:

Thomas Tuchel has revealed that just one Chelsea player will be unable, as N’Golo Kante returned early from international duty, after picking up a slight hamstring injury and trained on his own to relieve the pressure. Other than NG, the rest of the squad is fit, which means I don’t have to deliver any more bad news about Thiago Silva or Tammy Abraham, finally…

Tuchel also stated that everyone trained with high quality, which is great news for Chelsea fans as we get back in business in the league, with some huge games on the horizon.

Predicted Lineup:

Mendy, Azpilicueta, Christensen, Rudiger, James, Jorginho, Mount, Chilwell, Ziyech, Werner, Abraham.

Despite Thiago finally fit for action, I am doubtful we will see him start, as Porto on Wednesday is an absolute must win game, and we need our best side possible for that encounter.

I also feel Havertz may be in with a chance of starting, but I went with Tammy to lead the line as we haven’t seen him in action in quite some time, and Saturday’s opponents may be the perfect game to ease him back into action.

Timo Werner is confirmed to be starting by Tuchel, as the gaffer insists he will find the net soon, and he also praised his attitude and willingness to improve.

Players to watch:

Timo Werner: I stand with Tuchel in the belief that Werner will hit the heights we all know he is capable of, and I really think West Brom could be the game he does so. After a serious mistake, costing his national team the win against North Macedonia in the week, Werner received a lot of criticism, and I’m adamant he can prove the doubters wrong. If we can feed the ball in front of Timo, giving him the chance to run on to the ball and get in behind the West Brom defence, the German could cause some real problems.

Ainsley Maitland-Niles: The Arsenal loanee will be sure to have his work cut out, but will be motivated to keep West Brom in the Premier League. Maitland-Niles has a vast amount of quality, and will be hopeful to create as many chances as possible. Despite his skill, however, I think the task at hand may be too difficult for the 23-year-old.

Written by @mashgreaves

Chelsea V Everton: Match Preview

Here we go again. Chelsea are back in action following one of the biggest victories of the season on Thursday night, as the Blues host former Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti’s Everton at Stamford Bridge. The London side fought tooth and nail to defeat Liverpool, and now face their Merseyside neighbours in a pivotal encounter for both sides. Both Chelsea and Everton have their sights set on top four, and a win for either side could provide an all important boost to assist them in doing so. It’s a battle between 4th and 5th in South West London this evening.

The season so far:

Both sides have enjoyed a strong season thus far, and their league positions reinforce this. Chelsea’s win over Liverpool now means they are unbeaten in 11 games, 10 of those coming under Thomas Tuchel’s reign. Not only is the 11 game unbeaten run impressive on its own, but Chelsea have only conceded twice in those games. Twice. Thomas Tuchel has reignited a fire inside this Chelsea squad, and the Blues have shown no signs of slowing down.

As for their opponents, the Toffees are also in good form, securing three wins in their last three. Everton have also failed to lose an away game since November 1st, which could benefit Ancelotti’s side tonight. This doesn’t mean Chelsea are in trouble, however, as the Blues are on a six game unbeaten run at Stamford Bridge.

Some would argue that the blue half of Merseyside are more venomous this season, and Chelsea can validate this, after the Blues lost 1-0 at Goodison Park earlier in the season, thanks to a Gylfi Sigurdsson penalty. That being said, Chelsea have picked off some big names under Tuchel so far, and the German will hope this can continue tonight.

Player updates and news:

Thomas Tuchel has revealed that N’Golo Kante is still being preserved since returning from injury, and although he may start, he is unlikely to play 90 minutes. This could be a blow to Chelsea, as the Frenchman has been terrific as of late.

Thiago Silva could also be in contention to start his first game in over a month, after the Brazilian has been back in training recently. This would provide Chelsea a strong chance this evening, however, if the 36-year-old is not fully fit, the back three of Antonio Rudiger, Andreas Christensen and Cesar Azpilicueta are more than up to the challenge, and the three have been reinvigorated under Tuchel.

Callum Hudson Odoi could also be in with a chance of starting, as the youngster missed out on any action against Liverpool on Thursday. Hudson Odoi has a point to prove as Thomas Tuchel has implemented a ruthless approach to his tactics, and the Englishman will hope he can show the boss what he can do.

Predicted line-up:

Mendy, Azpilicueta, Christensen, Rudiger, James, Kante, Mount, Chilwell, Hudson Odoi, Werner, Giroud.

As I said in the Liverpool preview, I would love for Havertz to start, but given the importance of the fixture in putting a gap between Chelsea and Everton, I don’t think it’s the perfect time to take the risk. Hopefully we will see a Havertz cameo later in the game.

I also struggled to leave Jorginho out of the side, as the Italian played his best game in a Chelsea shirt against Liverpool. The reason he didn’t make my XI is just because of the importance of N’Golo Kante and Mason Mount, who grabbed our all important match winner at Anfield. That being said, I wouldn’t be opposed to seeing Jorginho start this evening.

Tammy Abraham could also be in for a shout ahead of Olivier Giroud, but I’m unsure on whether he can provide the same impact as Oli against Everton’s strong, deep backline.

Players to watch:

Timo Werner: It is no secret that Timo hasn’t hit the heights that Chelsea fans expected, but nevertheless, the German has not had a bad season at all. With 19 goals/assists in all competitions, the 25-year-old has looked bright under Thomas Tuchel. Werner had a terrific performance against Liverpool, and also scored in our last game on a Monday against Newcastle. Werner could very well impress tonight, coming off the back of a solid performance at Anfield.

Richarlison: The Everton star has netted in each of the Toffees’ last four games, which makes him the player to watch for the away side this evening. Not only that, but Richarlison can change a game at any given time, The prolific forward has a darting pace that Azpilicueta may struggle to counter. Whether it is Reece James or Callum Hudson Odoi on that right flank, Azpi will need as much help as possible to keep the Brazilian at bay.

This fixture happens to be a year on from our last game inside a full Stamford Bridge. That game’s opponents? Everton. For the fans now watching from their living rooms, lets give them another win to cheer.

Written by @mashgreaves

Frank Lampard’s Time With Chelsea Shouldn’t Be Viewed As A Complete Failure

When Frank Lampard became the manager of Chelsea FC in the summer of 2019, many didn’t know what to expect. Coming off his first full season as manager for Derby County in the EFL Championship, his side finished short of being promoted back to the English Premier League. They lost 2-1 versus Aston Villa in the final of their playoffs and, despite that, they had a successful season that saw the team mature and grow. 

Lampard, who spent 13 seasons with Chelsea as a player, had a positive first season as manager of the club. He led his side to a fourth-place finish in the Premier League, which secured their spot in the Champions League for the 2020/21 campaign. Additionally, Chelsea advanced to the FA Cup finals versus Arsenal, yet lost 3-1.

However, they weren’t as fortunate in the League Cup and the Champions League as they had bitter defeats versus Manchester United and Bayern Munich, with the latter proving to be too much to handle. It was a learning curve for Lampard as it was his first time managing a club in the Champions League. A tough task to do with limited managerial experience.

In Lampard’s first season, he exceeded expectations for his side after a transfer ban in the summer of 2018. He had the daunting task of not being able to sign players that he would have wanted to and, instead, had to depend on players who returned from the prior season and also relied on the Youth Academy. Although the ban was lifted and they were able to sign players in the winter transfer market, not much was done, which left Lampard in a difficult situation.

Most managers would prefer to arrive, transform the club as to how they would want it and have the flexibility to buying players in the transfer market. Lampard took on a challenging task and, in doing so, he has been able to take many Chelsea academy players to the next level in their young career.

Last season, Mason Mount, Tammy Abraham and Reece James broke into the first team and got their opportunity to show what they could provide to Chelsea. All three players didn’t disappoint as they finished the season rather impressively. Mount and Abraham had a combined 22 goals in the Premier League, while James proved to be a capable backup to Cesar Azpilicueta for the foreseeable future. He is a physical defender, with strong tackles and a good read for the game.

Heading into the 2020/21 season, expectations became much different for Lampard. This time around, the club had a full summer transfer window to purchase and were quite active, to say the least. They brought young, highly talented players, Timo Werner, Kai Havertz, Hakim Ziyech and Ben Chilwell. They also brought veteran Thiago Silva to provide leadership and experience in the backend. They spent an excess of 200 million Euros in the summer transfer window and expectations were high.

Lampard’s job was in jeopardy at the mid-point of the season as his side had failed to produce. They exited early in the League Cup versus Tottenham Hotspur, advanced his side to the round of 16 in the Champions League and won against Hull City to advance into the fourth round of the FA Cup. Prior to his firing, Chelsea was sitting in ninth place in the Premier League. The results were encouraging yet not enough to save his job.

Lampard’s first season was more lenient given the circumstances the club faced however in his second season, club owner, Roman Abramovich, didn’t wait to evaluate Lampard’s performance as manager. The club decided to replace him with ex-PSG manager, Thomas Tuchel, which caught many by surprise when the deal was announced.

While it was sad to see Lampard leave Chelsea, he did his best in a tough situation the past two seasons. One noticeable area of concern was Lampard’s lack of managerial experience. Far too often this season, he had players in positions that were not their regulation position. Specifically, Werner, who was used as a left-wing but spent most of his time as a centre-forward with RB Leipzig. The German has struggled to find consistency, along with not scoring at the same rate he did in the Bundesliga.

All the blame shouldn’t be squared solely on Lampard. It was well known that he had limited managerial experience and he was going to need time to learn and adapt. Many successful managers have advanced through the youth rankings or have managed the lower divisions to help them gain experience. Lampard should have been given the proper time to adjust and figure it out with Chelsea. That’s never the case with Abramovich, who is known to have little patience.

Additionally, Chelsea acquired a plethora of new players in the summer transfer market and they had limited time to become familiar with each other. Training camp was shortened this season as Covid-19 altered the season and the scheduling. Injuries and illnesses also hampered Lampard’s squad, which made it difficult to have a full roster where players could play regularly.

While it didn’t go as planned this season, the Englishman was able to keep Chelsea on course through difficult times. Now he will embark on a new journey in his managerial career. Regardless of how it went, he will always be a Blue who gave it his all just as he did when he was a player with the club.

Chelsea 2-0 Newcastle Match Report

After the result at the weekend, Chelsea’s game against Newcastle meant the Blues had a chance to jump into a top 4 position. With Liverpool losing to Leicester, a win over the Magpies would mean they’d be in 4th place – only 4 points behind 3rd and 2nd place Leicester, and Manchester United respectively.

Thomas Tuchel has enjoyed a fruitful start to his managerial career at Chelsea. With 5 wins and 1 draw in all competitions, as well as 5 clean sheets in the previous 6, Chelsea look completely revitalized. With important ramifications on the table, this game was crucial in gaining ground in the race for top 4. Once again Tuchel chose to stick with the 3 at the back formation, with a few changes that had fans questioning his methods.

Source: Google

Starting Line-up: Arrizabalaga; Rüdiger, Christensen, Azpilicueta (C), Hudson-Odoi (Out 78′), Jorginho, Kovačić, Alonso, Werner, Mount (Out 70′), Abraham (Out 20′)

Subs: Mendy, Palmieri, Kanté (In 70′), Ziyech, Pulisic, Zouma, Chilwell, James (In 78′), Giroud (In 20′)

Moving Callum Hudson-Odoi back to the right wing-back role where we originally saw him feature, Reece James was left on the bench. Finally, Kepa started in goal after his performance against Barnsley and Mendy was moved then to the bench. With Thiago Silva still out injured Christensen remained the starter, and Tuchel opted for Tammy Abraham to lead the line.

First Half

The first half started out quite well, the Blues looked sharp right from the beginning, and gave Newcastle trouble in defense. The Magpies did not sit as deep as was likely expected early on in the game. Instead they setup in a 5-3-3. out of possession in a mid-block leaving space behind for runners.

Early on in the half around the 2nd minute, a quality passage of play from the Blues saw Azpilicueta play the ball into Mount who laid off the ball to CHO on the right flank. CHO cut in and laid the ball off to Kovačić who switched the play to the left in space for Marcos Alonso to take a shot on target.

Source: hdmatches.net

The shot was saved comfortably however it showed much of the space available to operate in which Chelsea could exploit, stretching the back line of Newcastle’s defense horizontally.

Soon after in the 6th minute of the game, Azpi had a chance from a corner won that was a strong attempt on goal. After a second consecutive corner was won from a header by Marcos Alonso, Mount played in the second corner in which Azpi made a run toward the near post.

Source: hdmatches.net

The header was flicked onto the far post, where Dwight Gayle was standing and was able to clear the ball over the top of the goal. Had it not been for Dwight Gayle, it seemed likely Azpi’s effort could’ve resulted in a goal.

At about the 14th minute, Tammy Abraham was given a great chance to open the scoring for Chelsea. Kovačić received the ball from deep and skipped past a few of the Newcastle frontline defenders. He spotted an excellently timed run by Tammy Abraham as an option to play the ball over the top to.

Source: hdmatches.net

Tammy took a great touch in stride to put the ball out in front of him. However while he was through on goal, Jamaal Lascelles recovered quite well and put in controversial tackle on Tammy inside the box. He slides from behind Tammy and just gets the ball although he may have went through Abraham and tackled him before getting the ball. Regardless, the decision of no penalty was the result.

However, Tammy did end up getting hurt after the challenge. Although he carried on until about the 20th minute, he never quite recovered and was limping the entire time while he remained on the pitch. As a result, Tuchel opted to bring on Olivier Giroud to replace him.

Around the 25h minute Chelsea saw another serious chance which could’ve ended Werner’s goal drought in the league. Mason Mount laid the ball off to Giroud who dropped deep and saw a switch of play to Alonso on the left side of the box.

Source: hdmatches.net

Werner throughout this process intelligently positioned himself in the central gaps left open by the Newcastle defense, and got on the end of Alonso’s headed pass. Unfortunately, Werner was forced to lunge forward for the ball, and he was unable to drive it goalwards, putting his attempt just wide right.

However, it wasn’t long after when Chelsea opened the scoring. At about the 30th minute mark, Timo Werner played a pivotal role in opening the scoring. Christensen played the ball over the top and out wide to Werner who had dropped deep. Werner controlled the pass and drove with the ball down the line, slowing down and accelerating to beat his man on the left flank.

Source: hdmatches.net

He fizzed in a ball into the danger zone directed at Mount, but the keeper got a hand to it and pushed the ball out. The ball however, dropped to Giroud who was well positioned for the second chance and had practically an open goal to bury the chance for Chelsea’s opener.

Shortly after, Timo Werner is presented with yet another opportunity to end his streak and extend the lead for the Blues. Kovačić once again with his excellent dribbling ability drove through two Newcastle defenders, played a beautiful 1-2 sequence with Giroud to beat another man, then delicately played the ball just above the ground and through to Werner. Werner took this chance first time, and made good contact on the effort, but unfortunately lifted the ball just too much to go over the crossbar.

However, Werner did finally end his drought in the game. After having won a corner around the 38th minute, Mason Mount delivered a ball over the top into the box. On its way, the ball missed Giroud, and bounced off a couple Newcastle defenders, and fell to the feet of Werner at the far post.

Source: hdmatches.net

The ball was hit just over the line, and although the goal was scrappy, a nervy VAR check resulted in the confirmation of the goal and Timo was thrilled to finally get on the score sheet.

After this point in the game, a couple more chances which did not result in goals occurred. Around the 41st minute, Mount took an audacious attempt from the right half space on his weaker foot. He struck the ball very well with power, but the effort went wide and did not trouble the keeper.

Newcastle just before halftime began to become more aggressive in their press, slightly causing Chelsea to struggle, however just around the 46th minute after a Chelsea corner, Newcastle defended well and looked to break quickly. The transition was cut out by Alonso who quickly found Mount open in the left side of the box for a shot which he dragged wide right.

Overall, the half was quite dominant by Chelsea. They defended excellently and barely allowed Newcastle opportunities in the first half if any. In addition to being able to play through their press, they were able to create loads of chances, and potentially could’ve scored more had all their chances been taken.

Second Half

The second half however, was not as impressive. Newcastle adjusted their intensity at halftime and made it a point to apply pressure on Chelsea’s midfield pivot. This resulted in a more difficult process when trying to build out from the. back.

Early on their aggression paid off as they got an opportunity after winning the ball from a blocked pass off Azpilicueta. Saint-Maximin played the ball won into a central position to Isaac Hayden, who took a shot that deflect onto goal for a simple save by Kepa.

Soon after Newcastle won a free kick in a dangerous area. Jonjo Shelvey lined up to take the free kick and struck the ball with a lot of power.

Source: hdmatches.net

However, Kepa’s form was good today and he was equal to the chance. He reached the shot quite easily and held onto the attempt to disallow any second chance opportunities.

The next 20 or so minutes no substantial opportunities were created. Chelsea tried attacking Newcastle’s box, however had trouble in really breaking down their opponent as they did in the first half. At about the 64th minute, Kovačić once again was involved in carry the ball from deeping while evade a few Newcastle players in the process.He. drove forward with the ball and laid off a great pass out wide in the path of CHO who fizzes a ball in, but is cleared for a corner.

Shortly after, Timo Werner dropped deep on the left side of the pitch and played the ball centrally to Jorginho. Jorginho played Mount on the right, who then drove forward with the ball into the opponent’s box and laid off the ball to CHO who was overlapping.

Source: hdmatches.net

CHO played the ball across the face of goal and between many Newcastle defenders. Unfortunately, no Chelsea player is able to get on the end of the opportunity and the ball ran through.

This was Mount’s final involvement as he was replaced in the 70th minute by N’Golo Kanté who added a third man to the Chelsea midfield. Very soon after, a ball which was played over the top to Werner results with him inside the Newcastle box. However, Lascelles once again the culprit, put a slight shove on Werner who tried to control the ball and Werner fell over. After review once again, the decision was no penalty.

Finally, the last substantial chance of Newcastle resulted around the 74th minute, with Joe Willock. After a throw in for Newcastle, they attempted to attack Chelsea who were looking to defend deeper and see the game out. Newcastle had been constantly playing deep crosses from wide areas into the box hoping to score off these opportunities. Ryan Fraser who had come on later in the game whipped in a ball from deep into the box.

Source: hdmatches.net

Willock made an excellent diagonal run into the box, elevated over multiple Chelsea defenders for an excellent headed attempt which was goal bound. Once again, Kepa was quick to react in the situation, and got a strong hand to the ball to push it wide.

After this point, in the 78th minute Reece James replaced Callum Hudson-Odoi and the game was seen out by Chelsea to hold onto the clean sheet and win their 4th game in a row in the league.

Brief Tactical Overview:

Chelsea with the ball were often looking to play through the press of Newcastle, utilizing Jorginho and Kovačić heavily in the first half. Additionally, the wide defenders would also often progress and play the ball into either one of the dual 10s or wing-backs if playing through the middle was not available for them to then create attacks at the opponents box. In the second half, once the press became more intense from Newcastle, Chelsea adjusted by having a man from the front drop deeper and add more numbers to the midfield as further passing options.

Without the ball, Chelsea’s front line pressed well trying to close down opponents very quickly. They were intense and with purpose, while heavily utilizing the dual 10s and mids to create wide overloads and pin the opponent in wide areas with no options. In the second half, the intensity of the press dropped off as time went on, as the team geared more towards game management and holding the clean sheet. As a result, they opted to hold their shape and defend a bit deeper for better anticipation of Newcastle’s crosses.

Positives and Negatives:

In the first half, Chelsea did well in playing through the press of the front 3 press using the midfielders to play between lines and progress the attacks. Kovačić was especially excellent in this regard, as his dribbling and beating players allowed the Blues us to take on the back line, and his passing decisions and execution were very sharp. Additionally, Chelsea were very strong in the buildup. Often they were able to play from the left to evade the press, then switch the play to the right using either Jorginho or Kovačić who linked up with Mount or CHO on right to drive the attack.

In the second half this became more of a struggle, however the adjustment of dropping players deeper as outlets allowed Chelsea to better cope with the additional pressure placed on the midfield pivot. Finally, Chelsea created a number of chances this game from corners as a result of well timed and angled runs in the box (Azpi), intelligently positioned players (Werner), and excellent services (Mount).

Chelsea did also have areas in which they would have improved on. At times, playing around the back too much especially after the press from Newcastle picked up. This resulted in playing the ball between the central defenders excessively at times and led to a few chances for Newcastle. Although the Blues scored two, they created plenty of chances and possibly deserved more. More chances could definitely have been taken and should improve to kill off games earlier and more convincingly (Timo a couple chances and Mount one before half).

More particularly in the second half, Jorginho losing the ball not being able to deal with aggressive press from Newcastle was definitely an area of concern to think about for future opposition which press more effectively. Finally particularly in the second half, final balls also could have been better after playing through the press and on transition chances.

Implications and Next:

Chelsea now sit in 4th, level on point with West Ham but ahead on goal difference. Although a few clubs in the below positions have a game or two in hand, Chelsea are very much in the driver’s seat for their top 4 destiny. With about 14 games to go, Chelsea’s next run of fixtures show to be difficult ones.

Playing Southampton in the league next on the weekend, this would be the first time Chelsea face an intense pressing side under Thomas Tuchel. Therefore, it will be an interesting showcase of how the team adapts and the selection/formation he opts for. After this, Chelsea have Atletico Madrid in the UCL, and Manchester United and Everton in the league, as their next three fixtures. After these next few games, Chelsea fans should get a better understanding of where Tuchel’s Chelsea stands and what to expect.

Hudson-Odoi and Werner hold the keys to Lampard’s future

Try as hard as you like but you can never get three players into two positions. Harder still is getting three into one. This is the situation Frank Lampard currently finds himself in, as he struggles to select his starting wingers. In Hakim Ziyech, Christian Pulisic and Callum Hudson-Odoi, Lampard has at his disposal arguably one of the most talented unit of natural wide men in Europe, but finding a way to keep them all happy has proven difficult. The main spanner in the works is Timo Werner’s inclusion on the left wing, meaning Pulisic and Hudson-Odoi are forced either to their weaker flank or to the bench. Finding a solution to his problems on the flanks could lead to Lampard getting his Chelsea side to click, but a number of issues must be solved before he can do this: deciding whether to deviate from the 4-3-3 he knows and trusts, getting the best out of the misfiring Werner and managing game time of all three wingers to avoid consistent injury issues.  

Breaking down the game time of Chelsea’s four main flank options highlights a startling statistic: Callum Hudson-Odoi has started just 16% of the side’s league games this term. This seems like a very low proportion for such an incredibly talented player, not least when you consider his reported £120,000 per week contract and that the club rejected an offer of a loan with a £70 million option to buy from Bayern Munich for him last summer. So, the 20-year-old must find it strange that he can barely get on the pitch under Lampard despite the European Champions showing interest in acquiring his services. More startling still is the fact that Pulisic and Ziyech have started only 47% and 37% of league games so far, meaning Hudson-Odoi is not being kept out by two more experienced wide men. Mason Mount and even Ruben Loftus-Cheek have been preferred to Hudson-Odoi in a wide role at times this season, perhaps hinting at a lack of faith in him from Lampard. More confusing still were the manager’s comments made post-Fulham match about the winger, ‘Callum deserved to start today, to be fair. It’s not easy selections for me on that side of the pitch at the moment.’ Those comments infer a lack of meritocracy at the club. Incidentally when Hudson-Odoi did come on in the 75th minute of that game, he immediately sparked Chelsea into action and was integral in Mount’s winning goal just three minutes after his introduction.

As Chelsea have slumped into the doldrums of midtable following a chastening run of form in December and January – which has included just 2 wins from 8 in the league – very few players have stood out for the right reasons. One of the select few is Hudson-Odoi, who has made a huge impact when fighting lost causes against Arsenal and Manchester City, and in changing games such as the aforementioned Fulham match. The youngsters brilliant assist from his unfavoured right flank against Arsenal almost led Chelsea to an unlikely comeback, before a certain regista missed yet another penalty. His clever run in behind Zinchenko and composed sliding finish to score a consolation goal against City were testament to his footballing intelligence, pace and composure. Put simply, if Lampard wants to revitalise his side, putting his faith in Hudson-Odoi is a good place to start. Recent lacklustre performances from last season’s post-restart talisman, Pulisic, who has a solitary goal from 786 minutes of league action so far this campaign, should open up a slot on the left flank for the Englishmen to get a regular run of games. With fixtures against Luton, Burnley and Wolves coming up, now is as good a time as any for Lampard to throw him in.

Could it finally be time for Hudson-Odoi to take centre stage at Stamford Bridge and fulfil his huge potential? Photo credit: Metro

Whilst Ziyech, Pulisic and Hudson-Odoi have struggled for game time due to a lack of fitness or trust from the manager, Timo Werner has had no such worries. Starting 82% of Chelsea’s league fixtures to date, with the majority (63%) of these starts on the left flank, the German has the third most league minutes for the Blues behind Mount and Kanté. It is obvious that Lampard is desperate for his summer signing to succeed but he is not suited to a role on the left wing in a 4-3-3. A modern-day Premier League winger must be creative, a good crosser and able to maintain and progress possession, traits which Werner does not yet possess. This is highlighted by his lacklustre 0.8 key passes and 0.2 successful crosses, as well as his huge 3.2 combined poor touches and times dispossessed per game, illustrating his lack of creativity and his inability to keep the ball let alone do anything dangerous with it. He still has a very respectable 7.16 expected goals to his name after 16 starts (his actual tally of 4 goals shows a lack of confidence in front of goal), as he manages to pop up in threatening positions. When compared to Hudson-Odoi’s 1.2 key passes, 0.5 successful crosses (a figure which could still improve) and 0.9 combined poor touches and dispossessions per game, it is clear that Chelsea could do with a natural winger on the left side.

A vital aspect of Lampard turning his side’s form around is getting the best out of £54 million signing Werner. The German has caused selection headaches for Lampard, with his ability to play in an alien 4-3-3 formation under question. Not physical enough to hold the ball up as a lone number 9 and nowhere near progressive enough to play as an out-and-out left winger as discussed, Werner does not seem comfortable anywhere in the current system. It is now well documented that the German enjoyed his most successful period at Red Bull Leipzig as part of a two man centre forward partnership, often paired with the tall and combative Dane, Yussuf Poulsen. Fortunately for the Blues, in Olivier Giroud and Tammy Abraham they have two centre forwards who fit the Poulsen mould and if anything should strike up a better partnership with Werner as they are much more rounded players than his former teammate. Playing Werner as a second striker (whoever his partner is) would also free up room on the left flank for one of Pulisic or Hudson-Odoi.

Werner has shown flashes of brilliance but must rediscover his scoring touch to save Lampard’s job. Could a positional change pave the way? Photo credit: talkSPORT

Werner was always going to take time to adapt to a new country and league, but one factor not spoken about enough is the new playing style he has been forced to adapt to. His frightening pace – topping out at an impressive 35 km/hour in the Bundesliga, quicker even than Pulisic! – made him perfect for a counter-attacking side shy on possession and desperate to transition from defence to attack as quickly as possible in Leipzig. At Chelsea he has still been able to break away past high defensive lines (see his late miss vs Fulham) but has also been expected to be a part of more patient build up play, something which will take time to adapt to. Playing as a second striker, he will have less responsibility when it comes to progressing the ball and tracking back, two of his least favourite parts of the game, and more opportunity to sit on the shoulder of the last defender and run in behind defences when possible.

When chasing results recently, Lampard has shown that he is not scared to switch up his tactics. An exciting 4-2-2-2 formation has been experimented with, most notably when chasing the game against a ten-man Fulham. This system would involve two holding midfielders covering an awful lot of ground to avoid the Blues losing the midfield battle, but if a pivot of Mount and Kanté could do the work of three men (given their work rates I wouldn’t put it past them) then it would open up an exciting world of opportunities for Chelsea’s forwards. Two of Pulisic, Ziyech and Hudson-Odoi would start on the wings with a front two of Olivier Giroud, Tammy Abraham or perhaps even Kai Havertz, partnering Timo Werner. This set-up could of course prove to be too open and may require two lights-out holding players (Declan Rice return anybody?) to properly function, but given the current system seems to be flawed it might be worth a try for Lampard, with winnable fixtures against the aforementioned Burnley and Wolves, as well as strugglers Sheffield United and Newcastle in the coming weeks.

Lampard may have to lean on Hudson-Odoi in the coming weeks. Photo credit: The Sun

As the Blues limp on, glancing nervously in their rear-view mirrors at Arsenal gaining on them and staring longingly up the table at the likes of Leicester City and Everton, it is obvious that a lot needs to change to kickstart their season. There are a lot of flaws in the team: a huge drop off in pressing, a worrying difficulty to transition between attack and defence (costing the side dearly against counter-attacking sides), as well as a lack of any tangible game plan other than to cross and hope in the final third. One quick fix is to play two natural wingers and select them based on merit, and to reposition Werner to a more natural role as a second striker. Now is a time for Lampard to be bold, with his future very much in doubt. There has been a suggestion of certain players downing tools under the current regime, and so the manager is fortunate that in Hudson-Odoi he has a potential game changer whom he can trust. The odds are stacked against Chelsea’s greatest ever player, but this writer is sure he will come back fighting. The next month is crucial, and with a few tweaks and a bit of luck we could see Chelsea emulate both Manchester clubs in soaring up the table. There is always hope.

Written by Daniel New

Why Erling Haaland could be our #1 transfer target…

Given the current form of the team, it’s no secret that Chelsea are still well invested in the transfer market. It’s worth saying that the team’s transfer business over the past handful of seasons has been far from illustrious, featuring the sales of Mohammed Salah and Kevin De Bruyne and the purchases of the likes of Danny Drinkwater and Kepa Arrizabalaga with the former most recently in headlines for being sent off in a U23s match. Club legends Petr Cech and Frank Lampard seemed to make it a point this time last year to end this trend and get the club some real talent and energy to put on the pitch, and while they have, it just hasn’t quite worked out. Hakim Ziyech has already suffered a handful of injuries, Timo Werner started off red hot and has now frozen into an icicle whilst being played out of position, and Kai Havertz hasn’t really been afforded the opportunity to do much of anything having contracted COVID-19 and also seemingly playing in a new position every time he’s put on the pitch. Needless to say, the club still sorely lacks the star power that departed along with Eden Hazard in his dream Summer 2019 move to Real Madrid. Of course while Hazard hasn’t made much of a difference in Spain during his time there thus far, it’s his impact at Stamford Bridge that is truly missed, having carried the team for his last 3 years with us.

With rumors of Roman Abramovich being dissatisfied with the club’s run of results and a managerial shake-up circling Frank Lampard like sharks in black water it should come as no surprise that Lampard might be frantically looking for reinforcements behind the scenes. Even with the likes of Werner and Havertz struggling for form, they have continued to be played routinely with Lampard reluctant to turn to more familiar faces from last season’s mild success such as Olivier Giroud, Tammy Abraham and Callum Hudson-Odoi. The latter has been in blistering form lately and even Lampard himself admitted that his hand may be forced when it comes to the team sheet later on. Unfortunately, this might only be one piece of the puzzle that’s missing up top for Chelsea.

However, if the board are willing to continue backing Frank Lampard through this tough period we could see another forward don the Blue Shirt for Chelsea FC. Recently rumors have picked up about the club being interested in signing Borussia Dortmund starboy Erling Haaland who once stated he’d have loved to play with Frank Lampard. Haaland provides a similar profile to legendary strikers Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Eric Cantona – a player with excellent shooting technique, ability to read the game, smart movements, nifty and powerful dribbling as well as the ability to get up and head the football. With this transfer rumor though there are a few things that must be taken into consideration. Borussia Dortmund are not the same European powerhouse they were in 2013 when they took on Bayern Munich in the UCL final under Jurgen Klopp, and perhaps they could sell Haaland to fund replacements for aging veterans Axel Witsel and Mats Hummels. Additionally, if they sold Jadon Sancho the club could find themselves writhing in money in an instant. A problem that Chelsea will face however is the dealing with agent Mino Raiola, who represents Haaland. Raiola recently made disparaging remarks about Manchester United star and client Paul Pogba’s situation at the club, something that Marina Granovskaia and Roman Abramovich are sure not to tolerate, especially considering that the club have notoriously avoided dealing with the agent as it is.

The talent of Erling Haaland might become means for an exception, with the Norwegian recently becoming the fastest player to every score 25 goals in Europe’s top five leagues, scoring 25 in 25 games. The signing of Haaland could prove problematic, leaving the club with four strikers by trade as well as a huge hit to Abramovich’s wallet which would surely make Frank Lampard’s thin tightrope even thinner as sacking rumors continue to hang over the club legend. In addition, the board will continue to search for landing spots for the embattled Kepa Arrizabalaga as well as a path that would see West Ham star Declan Rice return to The Bridge with Mason Mount and other close Chelsea contacts. The next weeks will decide an important chapter moving towards the club’s future.

Is it time that Olivier Giroud and Chelsea Part Ways?

Frank Lampard enters his second season as manager of Chelsea and comes off an impressive year where he finished in a top four spot in the English Premier League. In doing so, Chelsea qualified for the Champions League for a second straight season and did this with the loss of their star player, Eden Hazard. The Belgian was sold to Real Madrid as he wanted to play under Zinedine Zidane. Additionally, a transfer ban last summer restricted Chelsea from purchasing players and strengthening their squad.

The youth academy finally became a focal point as young touted players such as Mason Mount and Tammy Abraham finally had their chance to showcase their skills. Mount and Abraham each flourished in their first season in the EPL as they scored seven and fifteen goals, respectively. They have continued that trend into their second season and have excelled.

With the transfer ban no longer an issue this season, the summer transfer market was boisterous for Chelsea. The Blues caught many by surprise with their marquee signings as they were able to sign elite players such as Timo Werner and Kai Havertz. To add to the mix, Abraham has started to emerge as an elite striker so Lampard has plenty of options at centre-forward.

So where does this leave Olivier Giroud? The Frenchman signed a one-year deal last season to extend his stay with the Blues but this decision has backfired. He has started in five of their twenty-one matches in all competitions this season and regularly appeared as a substitute. In recent times, he has grown frustrated and has fallen down the pecking order. The forward needs to play more if he is to secure his spot in the Euros for France come June.

Giroud has mentioned that he’s grown frustrated and that he will decide on his future come January 2021. Lampard wants the forward to stay, however, Chelsea will not get in the way if he decides to leave. Since arriving from Arsenal, Giroud has helped Chelsea win a FA Cup and the Europa League.

Near the midway point of the season, Mitchy Batshuayi was the backup to Abraham and Giroud was third in line.

Batshuayi’s performances declined back in February and this prompted Lampard to move Giroud behind Abraham.  He too was struggling as scoring and his inability to finish started to become an issue. While this compounded midway through the season, this gave Giroud an opportunity to make his mark as the number one choice for his manager.

Although Abraham recovered from injuries before Project Restart, he faltered down the latter part of the season as he scored twice in their final 13 appearances (between the EPL and FA Cup).

Rumoured to be joining clubs such as Inter Milan, Lazio and Tottenham Hotspurs last January, this never materialized as the Frenchman stayed with Chelsea for the remainder of the season. Had he left, Lampard’s options would have been Abraham and Batshuayi and, with the latter no longer part of his plans, he couldn’t afford to lose Giroud without a sufficient replacement. In April, Giroud renewed his contract and decided to stay an additional season with the Blues.

While Giroud wasn’t a starter last season, he still showed determination when Lampard called upon him to enter as a substitute. The Frenchman proved himself and was inserted in the staring lineup when the season re-started. He provided stability up front and scored eight goals in thirteen EPL matches and one goal in the FA Cup Semi-Finals.

Fast forward to this season and Giroud found himself in a situation he didn’t want to be in. He was in a lesser role with Chelsea now that Havertz and Werner joined the club. Along with the emergence of Abraham, the Frenchman had every reason to leave the club. In recent times, that hasn’t been the case as Werner, Havertz and Abraham are struggling as they’ve been in poor form.

He wants to secure his spot in the upcoming Euros with France and also play regularly. That may be a possibility as the Frenchman is having another good season with the Blues. He has scored eight goals in fourteen games across all competitions and is on pace to surpass his numbers from last season.

Earlier this season, Giroud played a meaningful part in Chelsea’s 2-1 win over Stade Rennais F.C. in the Champions League as he scored the winner in the dying moments. A great moment for the Frenchman and the Blues which shows the kind of player they have, yet he will need a more significant role with the club if he is to stay.

“I think everybody feels from the outside what a great professional [Giroud] is and how highly regarded he is by his teammates and by myself,” said Lampard.

“And for him to get a goal, you’ve seen the reaction of his teammates, he’s so professional in how he trains and looks after himself that age isn’t even a factor.

“Even though he doesn’t play all the time,” he continued.

“I hope and I think he knows that I’m happy with him and how much I rely on him.”

His time with the Blues will always be remembered for scoring pivotal goals and helping them win two important trophies. Chelsea have gone in a new direction with young talented players that will become the future of this club. Yet, if Werner’s struggles persist and Lampard continues to be reluctant to use Havertz as a number nine, this will leave him with just Abraham.

Lampard wants Giroud to stay so what looked like a bad situation may have changed its course for the Frenchman to reconsider leaving. However, if he is to leave, let’s take a moment to be thankful and grateful for his time with Chelsea. He arrived to Chelsea leaving with trophies, scoring pivotal goals and becoming a Blue’s player to remember and love.

How will Timo Werner fit this season with Chelsea FC?

It has a been tumultuous summer transfer market for Chelsea who have been one of the most active teams to date. One player who had been mentioned regularly prior to joining the Blues was Timo Werner. The German came off a career year who had been consistently mentioned to join Liverpool. Chelsea, who hardly were mentioned caught many people by surprise.

When a player such as Werner is available to be signed, a club who has the necessary funds should do what is possible to obtain their signature and commitment. If they wait too long to make a decision, other teams will grasp at the opportunity to acquire some of the best talent available in the transfer market. 

Over the past couple weeks prior to joining Chelsea, it was widely rumoured that Liverpool was in pole position to sign Werner. The Reds were reluctant to pay his full release clause of nearly €53 million euros and had yet to offer a contract to the forward.  Inter Milan and Juventus were also interested, but Chelsea seem to be willing to pay the full release clause and offer a five-year deal worth 10 million per year in wages. 

The late move by Chelsea caught many people by surprise and has shown that they are committed to signing one of the best up-and-coming players. Before signing Werner, in the past 12 months, Chelsea had only signed Mateo Kovaĉić and Hakim Ziyech. The transfer ban may have been a blessing in disguise as the club acquired a player who will help in many different ways.  Chelsea’s willingness to put pen to paper for the forward has Werner convinced in the project they have setup and Lampard playing a major role in convincing the German in what they plan to do moving forward.

While Liverpool continued to stall in signing Werner, Chelsea was lurking in the dark and wasted no time, pouncing on the opportunity. With the forward now part of the club, Chelsea fans have much to be excited about. What can they expect from the Leipzig forward?

Frank Lampard will be getting a player who should nicely fit his style of play. The Chelsea manager prefers to play direct attacking football, but the Blues have really struggled to finish their chances this season. Chelsea averaged 16.6 shots per game while only scoring 1.7 goals per game. Tammy Abraham has contributed 15 goals, but is the only player on the squad to find the back of the goal more than ten times in the English Premier League.  Willian who no longer is with the squad was second with six goals. The inability to find consistent scoring from other players has been a major issue for Lampard.  

Werner has flourished under manager Julian Nagelsmann, who’s been able to develop the forward’s game this season. Currently playing in a 4-4-2 formation, Werner showed to be very consistent, which is a rare quality to find in young players. The forward has scored many goals this season with his great movement and ability to strike the ball with great power and accuracy. The striker scored 28 goals in the Bundesliga, who was second in the league behind Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski. 

In the previous two Bundesliga campaigns, where he played as a wide forward, he averaged 3.6 shots per 90 minutes. In recent seasons he’s managed to get to the net and create opportunities for him and his teammates. This year, playing as a false nine, he’s averaged 3.6 shots per game and has improved his goal-scoring rate, averaging 0.71 goals per 90 minutes.  

Last season, Bayern Munich decided not to make a move for the forward, which has worked out well for the young forward.  Playing another season under Nagelsmann has helped Werner become a more complete player.

“Nagelsmann has said that I won’t be playing as an out-and-out striker for him as much, but more of a false 9,” Werner said.

“It has encouraged me to improve and develop myself, even when we come up against oppositions that sit deep. He’s helped me to make better use of space.”

Werner’s flexibility will provide Lampard positional versatility.  He will allow the Chelsea manager the option to play different formations, including the 4-3-3.  While Lampard has used various formations this season, the 4-3-3 is his preferred option. Werner will be a viable replacement for Pedro and Willian who are no longer with the club, and the forward has shown he can play on either wing, as a striker and as a false nine. 

Lampard’s current options include Abraham as the striker, Christian Pulisic and Callum Hudson Odoi on either wing and Ziyech who could play as a right winger, a ten, or an eight. New addition, Kai Havertz could be used on the right wing or as an attacking midfielder, yet both players are capable of playing together up front. They have the ability to score and the experience of playing together for the German International squad.

Lampard has an abundance of players that offer positional versatility, which gives the manager many options to choose from. With so many competitions to be played, it never hurts to have more bodies in the line up as injuries do occur throughout the season. 

The scoring should vastly improve the most for Chelsea. Werner’s great movement will create more space for Abraham to work with and should result in more scoring opportunities.  Abraham’s physical strength up front and ability to play behind the defense should allow him room to separate him from the defense and have more chances to score. 

While Werner is not the most physical player, he has shown he can score at a prolific rate. He has scored 78 goals in 127 Bundesliga appearances with Leipzig over the past four campaigns. Goal scoring will no longer be an area of concern for Lampard as with a player of this caliber at his disposal. A new chapter is about to begin in Werner’s life and one which he will most certainly embrace. 

What will Kai Havertz offer to Chelsea and what makes him special

Chelsea finalized their second biggest signing in club history as they reached an agreement with Bayern Leverkusen. Kai Havertz was purchased for 70 million Euros from the German club and will join the Blues. He will have the chance to play alongside Timo Werner who plays with him for International side, Germany.

To be acknowledged and recognized in football takes hard work and dedication with the hopes of making dreams a reality. Throughout the past seasons, Havertz has shown the desire and devotion to work hard, improve his game and consistently perform at the highest level. He now joins a club who is showing the ambition to win multiple trophies as they have been one of the most active teams in the transfer market.

Havertz joins a relatively young squad who has players such as Mason Mount, Christian Pulisic, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Tammy Abraham. He becomes the next youngest player to be inserted into this squad and will immensely help manager, Frank Lampard, who has shown the commitment and willingness to play young players. Yet, what will Havertz offer his new club and what makes him so unique?

Havertz started playing at the age of four years old with Alemannia Mariadorf. In 2009, he then signed with Alemannia Aachen and spent one season in the club’s academy. Only spending one season with the second division club, he then signed with Bayer Leverkusen when he was 11 years old.

In the hopes of one day making the first team and playing in the Bundesliga, the midfielder spent seven years in the club’s academy. Additionally, Havertz played for the under 16 and 17 German National side. As the years passed by, the midfielder continued to develop his skills and mindset which developed him into an elite midfielder.

The commitment, hard work and ability to develop his game finally paid off for the German as on October 15, 2016, he found himself coming on to the pitch as a substitute for Charles Aranguiz. The wait was over for the midfielder who at the time was 17 years old and saw his dream become a reality. Since taking that step on to the pitch, the midfielder hasn’t looked back as he’s developed himself into one of the most talked about players in football.   

While Werner, James Rodriquez and Donny van de Beek have incited talks that see them with new clubs this upcoming year, another player who was headlined and generated a lot of attention has been young sensational midfielder, Havertz. In his four seasons with the Leverkusen, the midfielder has made quite the name for himself with his exciting style of play and ability to read the game.

Havertz holds many qualities which have been crucial to his game and allowed him to become a complete midfielder. At a young age, he’s developed skills in his game which many other players have yet to establish.

Starting off as a number ten with Leverkusen, in the role of an attacking midfielder, he has developed into a more versatile player who has shown to succeed in any position in the forward. He can play right midfield, right forward and the false nine. He’s able to assert himself as forward playing deeper but safely.

When Havertz is in the box and near the goal, he’s a very creative player who has good movement. His dribbling skills allow him to get around defenders and he has shown the ability to be decisive and clinical. In addition to scoring timely winning goals, he’s assisted in the build up of many plays which have led to goals for his teammates.

Havertz is a technical player and has the ability to play off either of his feet when in possession of the ball as he’s cemented himself as a two-footed midfielder. He is a threat to the opposition defence with his quick one-touch passes within tight areas. He has good passing and decision making and carries the ball well when playing it to his teammates.

The most important trait which Havertz has developed in his game is the ability to play at a high consistent level and carry the responsibility that has been given to him and take the lead.

The season prior was a career year for Havertz as he scored 17 goals in 34 Bundesliga matches. This season he has followed with another strong campaign as he’s tallied 12 goals in 24 appearances. Additionally, no player has scored more than the 36 goals that Havertz has amassed in the Bundesliga before the age of 21. The midfielder has shown no signs of slowing down as he continues to become one of the best upcoming midfielders in today’s modern game of football.

“You look at his profile, his experience already and the regularity with which he performs at a high level, you can have great confidence that he is the real deal, “recruitment expert David Webb told The Independent.

“He has been consistent and established himself as one of the best young players in the world at Leverkusen, which is also a good sign because he’s had to shoulder a lot of responsibility there and take the lead.

“He’s obviously got a maturity about him, which comes across not just in his performances but in his character.”

Lampard now gets a player who he has coveted for quite a while and should help the Englishman in this upcoming season. From being a versatile player to a complete scorer, he could be slotted into the lineup in various way which will give Lampard plenty of options to consider. He prefers to use a 4-3-3, so, expect Werner and Havertz to play together as they have been able to develop chemistry with German squad. Both have shown the ability to score at a rapid pace and will make it difficult for the other team’s defense.

The midfielder has taken his game to the next level this year and caught the interest of several clubs in different leagues. A player who is as rare as Havertz had top teams such as Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, FC Barcelona and Liverpool in Leverkusen’s path for his services. It was an unlikely club that continues to catch teams by surprise as Chelsea once again dipped into the transfer market and signed him.

Havertz now has the chance to play for one of the biggest clubs in the English Premier League as his hard work and determination has paid off. At the age of 21, he is already being compared to Mesut Özil and Michael Ballack. He is an exciting young prospect who aims to make his mark with Chelsea.  

Chelsea Interview with Mark Worrall

Jerry Mancini spoke to Mark Worrall, author and publisher for Chelsea FC related books. He has written books such as Chelsea Here Chelsea There, ‘Blue Murder: ‘Chelsea Till I Die’ and Chelsea Football Fanzine.

How would you rate Frank Lampard’s first season with Chelsea? Additionally, why is Lampard struggling to coach defense?

“A very solid 7/10 for Super Frank. [A] victory in the FA Cup Final would have pushed it to 9/10. Achieving [a] top four [position in the English Premier League] in spite of having lost Eden Hazard and not being able to sign new players was commendable.

“Defence issues were there from day one. Frank permed every option available to him as far as centre-back pairings and 3 at the back was concerned without ever achieving consistency. Clearly there is the need for a quality centre-back to be added to the squad and a left-back. Goalkeeper has also been an issue which has led to a crisis of confidence on several occasions. I’d like to believe it’s a personnel issue rather than a coaching issue…. We will find out next season, if the squad is improved in this area.”

Willian left Chelsea after seven seasons to join Arsenal. Did you feel this was the right move by Chelsea and the player? Also, how do you view his time with the Blues?

“I love the bones of Willian. He hates Tottenham of course! Joking aside, every Chelsea manager he played for rated him and there were always offers coming in for him. I think he found it hard to be constantly in Eden Hazard’s shadow, but his contribution and work rate were top notch.

“The move to Arsenal, is proof that at 32 he’s not a spent force. Personally, I don’t like to see Blues players move to rival Premier League clubs, especially London clubs. Was it the right move for Chelsea? I think so. I’m not sure he would have got much in the way of game time next season the way the team looks to be shaping up with new players.”

Chelsea shocked many with the signing of Timo Werner. How do you see the German fitting into Lampard’s plans this upcoming season?

“If [he is] playing through the middle, [Timo] Werner will hopefully be the man to consistently convert the chances that Chelsea create down the flanks. There is flexibility though and he can play left-wing with Tammy [Abraham] as centre forward. Either way, he’s going to be one of the first names on Super Frank’s team-sheet and if he stays injury-free then a 50+ appearances season beckons.”

Which area should Chelsea focus on the most in this transfer market window?

“Goalkeeper needs to be addressed and one centre-back – I actually think left-back is less of an issue for now while Kai Havertz is a luxury signing. It looks like [Roman] Abramovich is motivated to spend, spend, spend and so it’s a question of finding the right players and getting the deals over the line.”

Chelsea have been very active in the transfer market. They have acquired Werner, Hakim Ziyech, and look close to signing Ben Chillwell and Kai Havertz. Which players do you believe will not benefit from all these players joining Chelsea?

“There’s quite a list, but avoiding the obvious ones who will be sold or loaned I do wonder how much game-time the likes of Callum Hudson-Odoi, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Tammy and perhaps also [Christian] Pulisic and [Mason] Mount will get over the course of the season.”

Do you think César Azpilicueta is the best captain in Chelsea’s history?

“Short answer, no. César Azpilicueta is a terrific ambassador for the Club and a loyal, dependable and versatile defender… but he is nowhere near John Terry in terms of providing do-or-die leadership on the pitch.”

What has been the downfall to Kepa’s career and do you see the Spaniard in goal next season for Chelsea?

“Kepa’s downfall started with his player-manager escapade at Wembley in the 2019 League Cup Final v Man City. He then allowed personal issues to cloud his game (girlfriend trouble). Having a shaky defence in front of him hasn’t given him confidence and that’s a two-way street. Being dropped for the latter stages of the 2019/20 campaign spoke volumes about how much the manager trusts him – he doesn’t

“Without the benefit of a decent pre-season to see if he can be trusted with a better defence in front of him (assuming new signings) I don’t see how Lampard can re-evaluate him and, on that basis, I can’t see him getting a game. That said, if Chelsea don’t sign another goalkeeper and something happens to Willy Caballero there may be no option other than to play him.”

Lastly, how do you see Chelsea finishing this season and do you think they will progress this upcoming year?

“Progress will largely depend on fixing the defensive problems that plagued Chelsea in 2019/20. Do that, and with exciting new attacking talent already on board and the promise of more to come then the Blues could give Liverpool and Man City a run for their money in the Premier League.

“Realistically, going one better and winning the FA Cup this time around looks like the best option of silverware with the League Cup as a back-up… or why not win both? The new season is all about finding the right formula team wise, do that and we should be seriously challenging for top honours including the Champions League within the next couple of years.”

Ranking Chelsea’s 20/21 squad from ‘Star Player’ to ‘Must Be Sold!’

Chelsea have already confirmed the signings of Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech and are expected to have a busy transfer window with the club looking to offload a number of squad players.

But where do the new signings rank amongst the squad? Who should be starting every week? Who needs to be sold?

Well, here’s my rankings from “Star player” down to “Must be sold”

Tier List made via tiermaker.com

As you can see, the list is quite ‘bottom heavy’ with a large number of players thrown into the must be sold category. The likes of Bakayoko, Batshuayi and Pedro feature as they look destined to be moved on by the club and I doubt many Chelsea fans would disagree. There are, however, some admittedly controversial picks in this tier.

Jorginho is a player who has drastically divided the fanbase ever since he signed for the club in 2018. Since the restart, Jorginho has been out-of-favour and Chelsea managed to win four out of the five league games in which the Italian midfielder didn’t start, scoring an impressive 12 goals in the process. Due to injuries to both N’Golo Kanté and Billy Gilmour, Lampard was forced to hand Jorginho his first start against Sheffield United and The Blues were thumped 3-0 with many describing the performance as the “worst of the season” and Jorginho faced the brunt of the criticism due to a lacklustre display. Despite beating Norwich 1-0, Chelsea put in another fairly disappointing display which lacked urgency, tempo and attacking quality. Yet again, Jorginho started this game and for me, he’s a big part of the problem.

I personally don’t dislike Antonio Rudiger as much as most Chelsea fans seem to. I think he does offer some leadership and certainly has a physical presence which most of his peers lack, however if I’m being completely honest (and harsh) he simply cannot defend.

Image Source: Chelsea-News.co
He’s a central defender… who can’t defend!

So, not only do I think Rudiger should be moved on but I also believe his calamitous partner Andreas Christensen has had more than enough chances at the club. These two are an actual comedy spectacle when they line up next to each other and while Andreas is still young and could improve, I just don’t think he’s suited to be a Premier League centre-half. Although he’s welcome to prove me wrong!

Finally from the bottom tier, Kepa has to be sold. I’ve never witnessed a goalkeeper at the top level struggle to stop shots so badly. The club are reportedly interested in Jan Oblak and Andre Onana, both of whom would massively improve our squad, so Arrizabalaga has to go.

Just as a caveat, Willian has been included in the ‘must be sold’ category solely based on his contract situation, otherwise I’d be happy for him to stick around for a year as a squad player.

The boys in the ‘loan’ list are fairly self explanatory. The teenage lads from the academy could do with a season on loan in the Championship or even League 1 to get acclimated with senior football. I’ve chucked Kenedy in there too just because I think he’s hugely underrated so I’d like the club to keep him on the books, but it looks likely that he’ll be leaving on a permanent basis.

Image Source: Sportskeeda

The squad players section was fairly easy for me. Not all 23 first-teamers can be ‘world class’ (unless you’re Manchester City) so we need a solid bench consisting of players who can come into the squad when needed and make an impact. Players who “offer something different” are key throughout a squad and the likes of Olivier Giroud, Ross Barkley and Marcos Alonso all tick that box. Giroud has proven his value since the restart and is still a goal threat, while Barkley has actually impressed at times throughout the season and by all accounts works extremely hard to improve himself. The reason I’d keep Alonso around is because he gives us the option to switch to a three-at-the-back system whereas Emerson, for me, just offers very little.

There’s absolutely no reason why both Billy Gilmour and Tammy Abraham cannot be starters next season. They both have the quality as they have proven already, but due the signing of Timo Werner and Lampard moving Kanté into a deeper role, I think that they may not be nailed on to start week-in week-out next year but both will certainly play a crucial role in the long-term.

The regular starters that I’ve selected are a perfect blend of youth and experience in my opinion. Azpilicueta has proven to still be a quality captain and player throughout the season and I believe that Frank Lampard is a big fan of the spaniard, Reece James is also battling for the same position though and deserves to be a starter so we may see ‘Dave’ continue to feature as a left-back. However, if we do sign Tagliafico, Telles, Chilwell or whoever it may be then that could knock one of Azpilicueta or James down a tier.

It’s pretty much impossible to fit all of Kovacic, Mount and Loftus-Cheek into one starting eleven but all three players offer different skill sets which are incredibly valuable to this Chelsea side. Mason Mount has been the club’s player of the season for me, his quality both on and off the ball is outstanding and to have contributed so much in his debut Premier League season is hugely impressive. He’s absolutely key to Frank’s system and therefore should and will start the majority of games next season wether we sign Havertz or not.

Image Source: 90min

I honestly believe that a fully fit Ruben Loftus-Cheek is one of the best players in the Premier League. He’s the definition of ‘complete midfielder’ and can offer both a goal threat and be a creative outlet. His physical strength combined with immense technical ability when in full flight makes him a defender’s nightmare and if he can get back to his best next season then he has to be a starter.

Fikayo Tomori and Callum Hudson-Odoi have both suffered injury problems as of late but are two of England’s brightest talents. Zouma and Tomori’s partnership in the first half of the season was far from perfect but was certainly the most encouraging central defensive set-up we’ve seen. Chelsea fans rightly love Hudson-Odoi and despite all of his off-the-pitch issues this season he has the quality to set the standard for young Premier League players next season.

Werner, Ziyech, Pulisic, Kantè. Is that the best “big four” since the Warriors lined up with Curry, Thompson, Draymond and KD?

Edit by @AAZChelsea

Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech are nailed on to be top, top players next season for Chelsea. They’re two of the most dynamic and exciting players in the Premier League and will improve Chelsea’s already strong attack ten-fold. Christian Pulisic’s form since the restart has all Blues fans convinced that he’s the real deal, adding goals to his game and beginning to remind fans of a certain Eden Hazard due to his immense dribbling ability. N’Golo Kanté’s inclusion as a star player needs no justification, despite injury issues this year he’s clearly a world class player who would start for any and every team in Europe.

So, that’s my personal ranking of next season’s Chelsea squad. Do you agree? Disagree? Let us know @TheChelseaSpot

*I (stupidly) forgot to include Ethan Ampadu in this tier list. Personally I’d like to see him as a squad player next season but he could benefit from another loan.

Why Olivier Giroud will be crucial in the run-in and beyond

With a pirouette and a sweep of his right boot, Olivier Giroud once again proved to Frank Lampard how vital a role he will play in the remainder of this campaign, and potentially next season as well. His sweetly struck winner against Aston Villa on Sunday was his 3rd goal in 6 Premier League starts this season, and demonstrated his ability to find the net when Chelsea need him the most. With Chelsea embarking on a run of 9 league games in just 35 days following the season’s resumption, the Frenchman can expect plenty more game time, and Chelsea fans can expect plenty more high-quality showings from the World Cup winner.

Giroud has stepped up when needed by Chelsea yet again last weekend, striking a crucial winner against Aston Villa. Photo credit: The Guardian

Entering the season there was uncertainty over who would start in the centre forward berth for Chelsea. Young Tammy Abraham, however, made the role his own, with an impressive run of 7 league goals in 3 appearances before the September international break, leaving Olivier Giroud in the cold. A remarkable run of 10 consecutive games without being included in the match day squad either side of the turn of the year illustrated how out of favour the 33 year old was in Lampard’s plans. Below the struggling Michy Batshuayi in the pecking order, and with noise growing about a rumoured move to Serie A in January, how has Giroud so rapidly made himself almost indispensable to the club?

After scoring in Chelsea’s routine 3-0 win over Burnley in January, the strain of carrying Chelsea’s attack in his debut season seemed to catch up with Abraham. Up until then there had been occasional knocks, with Batshuayi deputising in his place, until Tammy was left out of the match day squad for the game against Manchester United in February. Batshuayi missed two gilt-edged chances, leading to him passing up the starting centre forward role to Giroud, and the Frenchman has started all 4 league games since, scoring an impressive 3 times and cementing himself in Lampard’s plans.

Even after such fine form it was a surprise to many that Giroud started ahead of his young English teammate against Aston Villa. The Frenchman presumably was chosen for his ability with his back to goal, an area he is arguably the best in the world in, as Villa’s extremely low block would require an awful lot of linkup play to unpick. Giroud duly obliged, putting in a vintage display. He managed to win 5 aerial duels as he successfully fought off the huge centre back pairing of Kortney Hause and Tyrone Mings. He also won 3 fouls, proving how much of a handful he can be to opposition defences. His sharp touches and intricate passes were evident throughout, most noticeably when he played a key part in the build up to his goal: exchanging a nice one-two with Mount on the edge of Villa’s area before cleverly pulling back from marker Hourihane, receiving the ball from Azpilicueta, turning, and firing in via a slight deflection. 

Not only will Giroud be useful for sharing minutes with Abraham as the games come thick and fast, he could also be selected ahead of his teammate against the low block defences Chelsea often face. With three games against bottom-half opposition, Giroud could prove to be the key to unlocking stingy defences. As mentioned, his hold up play is outstanding, and he averages 3.1 aerial duels won per game, slightly better than Abraham’s 3, which could help when Chelsea need someone to take down quick cross-field balls as they look to create an over-load down one flank. His now legendary flicks and tricks could also be vital when providing the killer touch to undo a congested defensive line, something Tammy has struggled with at times this season.

Abraham and Giroud could share minutes with fixtures coming thick and fast, photo credit: We Ain’t Got No History

Marina Granovskaia – a Chelsea director and Abramovich’s number 2 – moved quickly this summer to secure Giroud to a one-year contract extension. Although many saw this as a safety net for both player and club given the uncertain market in the wake of the global pandemic, it could prove to be a wise move on the pitch too. With Werner arriving at Stamford Bridge next season, he will join Abraham and Giroud as extremely capable number 9s battling for game time. However, at RB Leipzig Werner has been played in a two man strike partnership in 26 of his 33 Bundesliga appearances this season , often paired with the 6 foot 3 inch tall Yussuf Poulsen. The big Danish striker is essentially a more limited version of Giroud, played to win aerial duels and to facilitate Werner’s darting runs from the left. Either Giroud or Abraham could play in a centre forward duo with the German, or as a number 9 with Werner cutting in from the left wing next season, in which case Giroud could be essential if Abraham is injured or lacking form. Even though the Frenchman turns 34 in September, it is clear to see how important he is to this Chelsea squad, especially if they go deep in numerous competitions next term.

Not only has he impressed on the pitch, Giroud has also displayed an extraordinary mentality this year. When faced with transfer speculation in the January window, he didn’t force his way out of the club or hand in a transfer request, and when he didn’t get a move away he didn’t complain. Instead, being the model professional he is, he got his head down and worked hard to show Lampard what he was missing. Ultimately his goals have been worth 4 points since then (with vital strikes in 2-1 wins over Spurs and Villa) and by the end of the season that could prove to be the difference between making and missing out on a lucrative Champions League spot. His mentality and pedigree is so inspirational that it is worth having him around, not only to play, but also to pass on his experience to our current crop of youngsters so they can learn from one of the most accomplished players in the league.

With Champions League qualification on the line in a frantic run-in, Giroud could play a vital role in securing Chelsea a spot in next season’s elite European competition. He could also stick around next season and help the transition of Lampard’s young squad from also-rans to title challengers. Not bad for someone who seemed finished at Chelsea earlier this year! We should all be grateful for the Frenchman’s service, and appreciate him for staying put in difficult circumstances. Hopefully he hangs around for a little longer.

Written by Daniel New

Could Abraham and Werner be the new Drogba and Anelka?

When Nicolas Anelka arrived at Stamford Bridge in the January transfer window of 2008, it seemed to the world that he was joining as competition to – or potentially as a replacement for – the great Didier Drogba. With the Ivorian forward sulking after the departure of his mentor, Jose Mourinho (even going so far as to tell France Football Magazine that he wanted to ‘leave Chelsea’), it seemed inevitable that in the summer of 2008 he would join the ‘special one’ at Inter Milan. However, Drogba stayed and, after the arrival of Carlo Ancelotti in 2009, formed a lethal partnership with Anelka, one which would fire Chelsea to the first league and cup double in the club’s history. With Timo Werner set to join the Blues this summer, and with new number 9 Tammy Abraham stalling on signing a new contract, we now have a similar situation on our hands. Will Tammy be replaced and shown the exit door, or will he push his game on to new levels and form a deadly duo with his new German teammate, just as Drogba and Anelka did just over a decade ago?

Tammy and Timo could prove to be a deadly duo

The similarities between the situations in 2008 and the present don’t end at a potentially disgruntled Chelsea striker being joined by a world class forward. Much has been made this season of Tammy’s likeness to his hero, Didier Drogba. Both are able to lead the line on their own magnificently well, use their 6 foot plus frames to bully defenders and play superbly with their backs to goal. They both hold up and link play with ease as well. The other half of both partnerships also bear a resemblance, with Werner and Anelka both possessing extraordinary speed and looking to cut in from the wings to attack opposition defences. Surely it is written in the stars that Tammy and Timo can emulate their great predecessors?

Before Chelsea fans can even comprehend a long-lasting partnership between Tammy and Timo, there is the small issue of the former’s contract quickly running down. With 2 years left on his current deal and negotiations between him and the club coming to a stand-still, this is a potentially pivotal period in Tammy’s career. Inheriting the Chelsea number 9 shirt following a long list of disappointing predecessors – with the last great striker to don the shirt arguably Jimmy Hasselbaink in the early noughties (sorry Fernando!) – Abraham has been able to banish the supposed ‘curse’ that haunted those before him, netting 13 goals and providing 3 assists in just 23 league starts! Lampard knows how crucial a player like Tammy is to Chelsea: someone in the Drogba and Costa mould is hard to find and, now that we have someone who fits the bill, the manager surely won’t be looking to let him go. But whether Tammy feels valued by the club due to a refusal to match his wages to the currently much less impactful Hudson-Odoi, or whether he feels threatened by Werner’s arrival in his position, it could prove difficult convincing him to stay on at Stamford Bridge.

When Anelka joined a Chelsea side in chaos following the departure of legendary coach Jose Mourinho, he was played out of position as first Avram Grant and then Luiz Felipe Scolari persisted with the 4-3-3 formation which had served Chelsea so well, with Anelka crowbarred in on the right wing. The Frenchman was able to play in his natural centre forward berth for much of the 2008/09 season, with Drogba missing 13 league matches through injury and suspension, and duly netted 19 goals to secure the Premier League golden boot. It took a brave man in Carlo Ancelotti to pair the clearly formidable Anelka and Drogba up front together – in a 4-4-2 diamond formation – and Chelsea went on to win the league title, scoring a league record 103 goals in the process, of which 29 were struck by Drogba and 11 by Anelka. So, will Lampard follow Ancelotti’s lead and play a centre forward duo next season?

How Chelsea could line up next season, with Tammy and Timo in a centre forward duo. Photo credit: LINEUP11

In the decade following Ancelotti’s tenure at the Bridge, the English game has noticeably moved away from 2 striker formations, with a lone striker and inverted wingers being preferred by almost every club in the league. In fact, this season only Everton (with Ancelotti at the helm), Burnley, Bournemouth and Brighton tend to play with two centre forwards regularly. It could be an option, however, if Lampard decides to pair Tammy and Werner together. The German has played in a centre forward duo in 25 of his 32 league games this term, often playing with Yussuf Poulson, the 6 foot 3 Danish international, or more recently Patrick Schick. Poulson is similar to Tammy in that they’re both the same height, and use their physical advantage to win aerial duels regularly, the difference being that Poulson is played in order to facilitate his more talented teammate. Should Tammy play alongside Werner, he could hold up the ball before linking with his teammate to deadly effect. The Poulson-Werner duo has worked remarkably well, with 31 league goals between them this season so far. Playing with a much more able partner in Tammy Abraham could push this goal output to extraordinary levels.

However, it is more likely that Werner will be direct competition to Tammy, or that he will play off his left, in a 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1 formation. This would allow the rapid German to cut inside from the wing either with the ball or to latch onto a defence splitting pass. Having previously been a solely counter-attacking option, he has improved his game to break down low-block defences under the tutelage of RB Leipzig coach Julian Nagelsmann. The young manager is keen to play a possession-based brand of football, with Leipzig averaging 53.7% of possession in the league this season (roughly the same as Chelsea’s 57%), forcing Werner to alter his game suitably. He now drops deeper to win possession before building up steam on a characteristic dribble or playing a quick pass, bypassing the opposition press. To demonstrate the changes made to his game we can look at his statistics: he has doubled his chance creation (key passes) numbers from 0.8 in 2017/18 to 1.6 per game this season and more than doubled his dribbles in the same time period from 0.8 to 1.8 per game. This makes Werner a more rounded threat than he was a couple of seasons ago, as he can add creativity and dynamic dribbles to his already superb finishing (his shot conversion rate is currently at 27.6% compared to the mighty Lewandowski’s 22.3%) and electric pace. Thanks to Nagelsmann’s input and Werner’s work ethic, Chelsea are buying one of the most complete forwards in Europe. 

How Chelsea could line up next season in Lampard’s preferred 4-2-3-1, with Timo cutting in from a wide left position. Photo credit: LINEUP11

Werner may occupy the opposite flank to Anelka naturally, cutting in off the left as opposed to Anelka’s favoured right, but given the two share similar skill sets it is easy to compare them. Anelka managed 10 assists in the 2009/10 campaign when paired with Drogba, whilst completing 1 key pass on average per match. Given Werner’s superior chance creation skills it is easy to see that the German could provide Tammy with a deluge of incredible chances. Abraham has demonstrated his phenomenal footballing intelligence this season, making incredible runs into dangerous areas, and so he is the perfect foil to Werner, latching onto his teammates pinpoint passes. However, the 22 year old has missed 17 big chances this season (most memorably against Liverpool in our 2-1 home defeat when one-on-one with Adrián), the third most in the league. With some finishing practise with the clinical Werner and goal-scoring icon Frank Lampard in training, Tammy could easily double his goal tally next season as he is driven on to greater heights by his illustrious teammate!

Timo Werner’s 2019/20 heat map illustrates his preference to cut in from the left wing, perhaps indicating that he’d be comfortable playing on the left wing at Chelsea. Photo credit: totalfootballanalysis.com

With two elite forwards pushing each other to be the best they can be, comparisons between Tammy and Timo with Anelka and Drogba are inevitable. Whilst Lampard must still convince Tammy to sign a new long-term deal, this partnership could be one of the greatest in Premier League history. A two centre forward formation could be bought back to facilitate the duo, but even if Chelsea line up with Tammy as a number 9 and Werner playing off his left – cutting in to create chances, making runs in behind the defence, and finish opportunities – we could still see this partnership blossom. With Hakim Ziyech also arriving to add to our wing options of Pulisic and Hudson-Odoi, Chelsea arguably have one of the best attacking units in Europe, and key to it will be the linkup between Tammy and Timo. With memories of the 2009/10 season fresh in Chelsea fan’s hearts, it is time to make room for a new attacking duo as we watch our new forwards tear up the league and hunt much sought after silverware for Chelsea!

Written by Daniel New

Can Chelsea cement a serious challenge for the title next season?

Given the recent news that broke surrounding a shock move for Timo Werner, who has been reported to have agreed terms with Chelsea, and other rumours floating around involving Ben Chilwell, Nicolas Tagliafico and German sensation Kai Havertz, can Chelsea create a serious contention for the Premier League next season?

The main consideration that must be acknowledged is that as of right now, Chelsea are yet to secure any of the aforementioned players, despite Werner’s transfer looking imminent. This piece simply outlines the possibilities of a title-capturing season if the Blues can pull the deals off. For the past 3 seasons, Chelsea have looked relatively weak compared to reigning champions Manchester City, and this season’s dominant Liverpool side. Chelsea’s best campaign since their victory in 2016-17 happened to take place just last year, with the London side capturing a Europa League, whilst also finishing 3rd in the Premier League. The Blue’s were then faced with a transfer ban, prohibiting their chances of structural improvements in the side, following the departure of club legend Eden Hazard. Chelsea have gone on to silence all doubters and place considerably higher than many expected them to, currently sitting 4th in the Premier League, with 9 games to play.

Fast forward to June and Roman Abramovich has reopened his wallet and is not scared to break the bank to land some serious marquee signings for the Blues. As previously mentioned, Chelsea have all but confirmed their signing of RB Leipzig’s talisman Timo Werner, for a fee that could be as low as £52m, which in today’s market is unfathomable. The undoubtedly young Chelsea side have struggled for goals this season, with most of their attempts being turned away by Tammy Abraham, who has been nothing short of impressive in front of goal, but if Chelsea can land Timo Werner, the strike partnership of the prolific German and the goal-hungry Abraham, there is no doubt that the duo will score goals. Werner has rattled the net an astounding 31 times in all competitions this season, with 4 games to go before the end of the season. Abraham has surprised many by securing 15 goals in all competitions. 

As well as the Werner news, it looks like Chelsea are out for more, as news broke earlier this week that the Blues have declared serious interest over Bayer Leverkusen’s wonderkid Kai Havertz (per @cfbayern). If Chelsea can land this deal, beating rivals Manchester United amongst other clubs desperate to acquire the German star, the attacking possibilities at Stamford Bridge would be nothing short of fantastic. Kai Havertz is a truly dynamic player, with a serious eye for goals and assists, as well as exceptional hold up play, the 20-year-old has it all, and would be a perfect addition to Frank Lampard’s youth-based side. With Chelsea already landing Hakim Ziyech from Ajax, who can comfortably play out wide, or at the height of a midfield three, the Blues will be unstoppable going forward.

Football Manager 2020: What happens to Kai Havertz? - Football ...
Bayer Leverkusen youngster Kai Havertz, one of Chelsea’s main targets, Photo credit: Football Whispers

With the attacking options, if all goes well, looking a certain threat, Chelsea will also need to strengthen their defence. This has been made clear by Chelsea, with the blues mounting interest on Ben Chilwell, Nicolas Tagliafico and Alex Telles. Chelsea have suffered on the left-hand side for a while now, with Marcos Alonso looking considerably uncomfortable in a solid back four, and with Emerson looking like he is Italy bound. Despite Chelsea’s interest, Alex Telles has been toying with PSG over a move to the French giants, which means Chelsea have a toss-up between experienced full-back Nicolas Tagliafico, or 23-year-old Englishman Ben Chilwell. Whilst Tagliafico’s fee sits somewhere around the £23m mark, which would be a certain steal for a player with his quality, Leicester’s Chilwell appears a better fit for Lampard’s youth-orientated squad. Chilwell has played comfortably in a solid back-four for Leicester this season, and if Chelsea can acquire the Englishman at full-back, he will have the right players and coaches around him to take his defensive game to the next level.

With the completion of the acquisitions mentioned, and the removal of various ‘deadwood’ players in the squad like Drinkwater, Emerson, Batshuayi, and Mario Pasalic, who looks set for a permanent move to Serie A underdogs Atalanta for a fee of around £13m, Chelsea will not need to delve into their transfer budget as much as people think, with fees for Morata and Eden Hazard still at the club’s disposal. Furthermore, the potential new additions to the side will provide the Blues with some serious star power, as well as a refreshing balance from defence to attack, not to mention the sheer firepower in the midfield, with fan favourite Ruben Loftus Cheek returning from his elongated injury, and our player of the season Mateo Kovacic, Chelsea’s side, all signings considered, can mount a serious contention to take the top spot come May 2021.

Written by Mash Greaves.

Scouting Report/Analysis: Timo Werner – Part 1

The last 24 hours has certainly been a very entertaining one for every Chelsea fan, with talks with Timo Werner advancing so much that he has agreed to join Chelsea.

In this article, I will be at first looking at his qualities as a footballer. In Part 2, I will talk about his role in the Chelsea team and how he compares to his future teammates.

Player Review

The 24 year old is versatile in the attacking third, and definitely one of the main reasons why Lampard would have kept an eye on the German. Lampard has asked for more creativity and clinicality in his front three, and Chelsea fans thought that Hakim Ziyech was the main man for this job. However, we did not know whether Frank had plans to play the Morrocan either as an advanced midfielder or on the wing, but the signing of Timo Werner only suggests that we will have both creativity through the middle and out wide!

The latest rumours before the German signing certainly suggested that the Manager’s priorities were a Left-Back, a Striker and a Winger. Linked players such as Mertens, Aubameyang and Werner all have one attribute in common – they can play through the middle and both on the wing. Signing Timo kills two birds with one stone, and also saves us a lot of money from spending on another winger.

As you can see on the heat map above, Werner does like to drift a lot during the game and doesn’t necessarily stick to his position. Although he starts as an out and out striker most of the time, often he is playing almost as a second striker and drifts in from the left next to Poulsen. This is something which we could possibly see with Tammy Abraham, but I’ll go into that later in Part 2. Until then, since we’ve got his position out of the way, let’s actually get into his qualities…

Pace. That’s certainly one of his best qualities. His arrival in the Premier League would definitely make him one of the quickest players in the division. His acceleration and sprint speed allows him to easily glide past players after hitting it well in front of him.

With his pace, comes his dribbling. Being extremely quick and having strong dribbling abilities, should arguably be illegal. He can turn around in tight spaces and quickly shift into another direction. If Werner sees the chance to drive forward, expect him to knock it and simply run past the defender and receive the ball on the other side. Like ex-Chelsea winger Eden Hazard (that was hard to write), he has a strong backside and is able to hold off players. Werner’s combination of lightning pace and dribbling qualities often gives him the choice to go around the keeper on 1v1’s, something which we will see in the future when he is in Blue.

Another similarity to the Belgian forward is their style of shots. I like to say that the best players have one trait which no matter how hard the defenders try, they still are unable to stop. Werner certainly has his own – cut inside and shoot into the far corner. Defenders may know that Werner likes to cut inside on his right foot, but there’s absolutely nothing they can do about it most of the time, as the sharp turn leaves the fullback dumbfounded and as they try and tackle the German, the ball will already be in the back of the net.

However, even if the defender fully halts in coming inside, it still doesn’t stop Timo from driving forward. The 24 year old has a very strong left foot and if he sees no opportunity on the right hand side, he just shifts the ball to the left side and try and drive a low cross in the box for the Striker to score. All in all, it’s just a nightmare for the opposition fullback.

Talking of shooting, this could be the second best thing about the forward. He scores goals. According to understat.com, his xG this season is 21.30 in 29 appearances. This clearly shows his strong movement on the pitch and he is able to pick up positions giving him the best of chance to score. In fact, he has scored 25 goals for RB Leipzig so far this season, overperforming by 3.70 goals. To simplify things – he’s scoring the harder chances, and is being very clinical.

His playmaking abilities is not to be missed either. His xA is 8.64, and for someone who isn’t playing through the middle but instead more of a free role, this is very impressive. Furthermore, in the Bundesliga, he ranks 8th in terms of Shot Creating Actions, with a total score of 99. Although most of the comparison is later in Part 2, and the Bundesliga defensively is much weaker than the Premier League, his score of 99 would rank 1st in the Chelsea squad, joint with Willian, and 7th in the whole of the English League.

He scores and creates. Exactly what Frank wanted, needed, and got.

What do you think of Timo Werner? Make sure to let us know on all our social media platforms!

Written by Paree