As one legend leaves and another returns, patience will be required at the Bridge.
It’s a time of change at Chelsea. Their best player, the superb Eden Hazard, has left for Real Madrid with everyone’s good wishes and another club legend, Frank Lampard, is now the head coach/manager. A two-window transfer ban has restricted player movements, although Christian Pulisic and Mateo Kovačić have joined the Blues as the necessary registrations had been received prior to the ban being imposed.
Whether by accident or design, Chelsea will (at long last in the eyes of this and many Chelsea fans) be giving opportunities to players who have excelled whilst progressing through the club’s Academy. Many of them were part of England’s World Cup successes at various age groups in recent years and there would have been a huge sense of ‘What might have been’ had they moved on without getting a fair opportunity.
This in particular applies to Callum Hudson-Odoi, who has looked exceptional for many years.
So, with a mixture of experience – Pedro, Giroud, Kovačić, Jorginho, Azpilicueta and Kanté, who will surely revert to his best position this season following Maurizio Sarri’s departure, are all still there (the departure of David Luiz to Arsenal came as a surprise) – and talented youth, an interesting time lies ahead. Some questions, though, persist about the strength of the defence.
Frank Lampard will most likely be given at least two seasons in his new role and, to be fair to the club’s owner, Roman Abramovich, he has long-since stated that he wanted to see young players develop from the Academy.
It’s all coming to fruition now, although it’s hard to predict how the 2019-20 season will go. Surely, a top-6 finish and getting out of their Champions League group would be considered satisfactory. Anything more would be a bonus.
For once, patience will be called for at Stamford Bridge.
Will Reilly’s 2019/20 Premier League predictions plus his Best Bet(s):
TOP 4: Man City, Liverpool, Tottenham, Chelsea.
RELEGATION: Brighton, Norwich, Sheffield United
TOP SCORER: Harry Kane
BEST BET: Real Madrid to win the Champions League