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Lampard Urged To Be Selfish In January Transfer Market

Former Chelsea striker Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink has urged Frank Lampard to retain the services of Olivier Giroud beyond the January transfer window. The Frenchman has been linked with a move away from Stamford Bridge in order to gain more regular playing time.

Giroud wants to play in the European Championships

It is no secret that the 34-year-old Giroud wants to be part of the French squad that will contest the rescheduled European Championships. To do that, he will need to be playing regularly. With Timo Werner and Tammy Abraham already in the Blues first-team, it is not certain that he will play regularly even though his recent form has been good.

Giroud scored all four of Chelsea’s goals in their thrashing of Sevilla in the Champions League last week. He followed that up by scoring the equalizing goal in the 3-1 victory over London rivals Leeds United last weekend.

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Chelsea could contest the Premier League title

The Premier League title race looks set to be one of the most thrilling in recent seasons. Chelsea’s recent form and the depth of their squad suggests that they could be title contenders this season. Hasselbaink believes that Giroud’s form and leadership could be invaluable in terms of determining whether the Blues win the title this season.

“I don’t think they can afford to let Giroud go,” Hasselbaink said to Premier League Productions. “Even if he’s not number one. Coming off the bench and making something different.

“I know that he is going to want to leave but I think Frank has to be very selfish there and say no.

“Maybe he can call [Didier] Deschamps and have that conversation with Deschamps saying, ‘Okay, what does he need to do to be in your team? How much does he need to play?’ and have that conversation with Giroud, ‘Okay, you’re going to play this amount of matches for sure so you can go to the European Championship’.

Report: Chelsea Are Considering RB Leipzig Player As Understudy To Ben Chilwell

Chelsea are considering a move for RB Leipzig left-back Matthew Bondswell as an understudy to Ben Chilwell, according to The Mirror. 

The Englishman joined Leipzig as a youth product from Nottingham Forest in 2018. He has yet to make a Bundesliga appearance for Leipzig and is currently on loan with FC Dordrecht.

The fact that Leipzig have not yet handed caps to Bondswell at senior level could indicate that he is not in their first-team plans. Though Bondswell does not have much senior experience, he has been capped at various youth age group levels by England from U-15 to U-18.

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Bondswell could be a good investment for the future

Since arriving at Stamford Bridge from Leicester City last summer, Chilwell has made the left-back position his own and been an overwhelming success.

Frank Lampard is still able to call upon Emerson Palmieri and Marcos Alonso, though it looks like the more experienced duo are now surplus to requirements at the club. Both players have also been linked with January moves away from the West London giants.

Lampard looks like he is keen to build his side around young talent and so a move for Bondswell could be a good long-term investment.

As the player is not yet highly experienced and not known to a broader audience, he is unlikely to command a hefty fee. One of Bondswell’s strengths is that he is able to operate as either a centre-back or a left-back. Last season, he also stepped into the Leipzig’s Under-19 team despite his tender age.

It will be interesting to see what the Blues do with Bondswell should they secure his signature. The logical thing to do would be to send him out on loan, ideally to an English club in order to acquire more experience. However, the Blues are unpredictable under Lampard and so it won’t be surprising if he is integrated into the first-team.

Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink Issues Warning To Tammy Abraham

Former Chelsea striker Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink has warned striker Tammy Abraham that he will need to step up this season. The Englishman scored 18 goals for the club last season. Questions were asked of him prior to the start of last season due to his lack of Premier League experience at that point. However, he did prove his doubters wrong.

Abraham’s form led to an England call-up. Whilst he has not yet established himself as a world-class player, he did prove that he has the ability to reach that level.

The 23-year-old has so far scored five goals from 15 games for the Blues this season and three have come in the Premier League.

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Why Abraham faces a tough predicament right now?

As things stand, Abraham is the Blues second choice striker, ahead of Olivier Giroud but behind Timo Werner. Werner joined the club from RB Leipzig last summer and could be set to remain the club’s first-choice striker for the long-term. The German has already proven himself to be a world-class player and will be expected to help lead the club to major international trophies.

With Chelsea set to only use one striker for the majority of their games, Abraham could be limited to a substitute or second-choice role for the long term and that is not something that would be ideal for his career growth, especially at this point in time.

He will have to be playing on a regular basis if he wants to win selection for the England national team, especially as he is competing against the likes of Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Harry Kane, and Danny Ings.

“For me, Abraham has to do better,” former Chelsea striker Hasselbaink told Sky Sports (H/T:Football London)

“James can’t do any better for him, he’s put that ball in the right space. Put your head against it, it doesn’t matter who you are, these are brilliant crosses.

“For a striker, this is what you want, at this moment. These are the moments that are counting for Abraham, where he needs to step up.

“James can’t do any better for him, he’s put that ball in the right space. Put your head against it, it doesn’t matter who you are, these are brilliant crosses.

“For a striker, this is what you want, at this moment. These are the moments that are counting for Abraham, where he needs to step up.

“Why is he going to the floor? Stand up, you’ve already done the most difficult thing. Stay on your feet and tap it in. It’s 1-0, it’s always going to be a 1-0 game.

“He’s had three chances where he has to make it his own. He has to improve in those moments.”

Frank Lampard Issues Backing To Hudson-Odoi

Frank Lampard has advised Callum Hudson-Odoi to remain patient in his aims to become a first-team regular for the club.

The 20-year-old has been in excellent form recently. He has so far scored three goals from 11 games in all competitions for the club this season. He opened the scoring for Lampard’s charges in their 2-1 Champions League  group stage victory over French club Rennes earlier this week. The result ensured that the Blues advance to the last 16 of the Champions League this season.

“I am seeing constant improvements from him; I knew he’d had a couple of good performances for the England Under-21s last week,” Lampard told Chelsea’s website.

“I know he wants more minutes, but I have competition in that area.

“If he isn’t getting minutes in a period it doesn’t mean he is out of favour with me. He certainly isn’t. He is still a developing player, to a degree.

“The bit of quality he shows with the first two touches before he got his shot away was top class; I know he can do that.

“There are loads of great things about Callum, and I know there are things he can improve in his game. He knows that.

“He is a big player for Chelsea, he has a big future with us. His all-round game was fantastic, and he got his goal too.”

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Hudson-Odoi will be hungry for an England recall

Hudson-Odoi has not played for England since the start of 2020. With the rescheduled European Championships set to take place next summer, he will be keen to impress for Chelsea between now and the end of the season.

However, he will face intense competition for a place in Lampard’s starting xi. Lampard looks set to build the core of his side around young talent, and the Blues had one of their best transfer windows’ in recent memory last summer.

Hudson-Odoi has been with the Blues since he was youth player. He was introduced into the first-team in 2017 and has shown plenty of promise. Interestingly, he has never been sent on loan and this proves just how highly the Blues hierarchy view him.

Most players are sent on loan early on in their careers in order to mature and gain more experience at the highest level. However, he has been strongly linked with a move to German giants Bayern Munich in recent years, and the Bavarian giants are even believed to have had a bid rejected for the Englishman last summer.

Patrice Evra Backs Chelsea Linked Player To Leave Current Club

Manchester United legend Patrice Evra has backed Declan Rice to leave West Ham in the near future.

The 21-year-old who can play as either a centre-back or defensive midfielder has established himself as one of the top young talents in the Premier League. Since bring integrated into the Hammers first-team in 2015, he has gone on to make 105 Premier League appearances for the club.

Rice is a first-team regular for the Hammers and even wears the captain’s armband in the absence of veteran Mark Noble. With Noble past his prime, Rice is likely to captain the East Londoners for many games this season.

Rice has also established himself as a regular for the England national team. Since making his debut for the Three Lions against the Czech Republic in March 2019, he has gone on to make 13 appearances for Gareth Southgate’s side.

“Moyes has given him the captaincy, so for me, it symbols the future of West Ham. It’s not easy to put Mark Noble on the bench,” said Evra on Sky Sports (H/T: The Express). 

“They know they are going to lose him, because many big clubs are interested in Declan, but right now, he’s the man of West Ham. I’m not surprised.

“I knew this player would never allow his head to get bigger because he’s so focused and so humble, and you can see him smiling – he’s happy, what a joy.

“I’m very pleased for him.”

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Chelsea and Rice could be a good match 

Let’s face it, it is highly unlikely that Rice will remain with West Ham for the long-term. He needs to take his career to the next level and join a side which can challenge for major silverware. Whilst the Hammers are a decent side, they are unlikely to challenge for honours anytime soon.

Rice is believed to be best friends with Chelsea midfielder Mason Mount. As a development player, he also spent eight years with the Blues before being released in 2014 and subsequently joining West Ham in the same year.

It is probable that Rice’s childhood ambition was to play for the Chelsea first-team at Stamford Bridge. He will be able to achieve that under Frank Lampard who is building the core of his side around young talent.

Chelsea Should Let Olivier Giroud Leave In January

It is safe to say that Olivier Giroud is surplus to requirements at Stamford Bridge. The striker has become the Blues third-choice striker since the arrival of Timo Werner at the club last summer.

The third choice striker usually does not feature much for the club. It would be better if the Blues had a young striker occupying the third choice striker role, someone who would be able to feed off the knowledge of Tammy Abraham and Werner whilst providing them with stuff competition.

He memorably finished as the leading goal scorer in the 2018/19 Europa League as he banged in 11 goals to guide the Blues to the trophy. The trophy was a welcome relief for the club after they had struggled that season.

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Giroud has done his fair share for the club

The Frenchman surprisingly joined the club in January 2018 from Arsenal. He joined at a time when Alvaro Morata was struggling to score goals for the club. Most people would not have expected Giroud to remain at the club for the almost three years.

He ended up being a good servant to the club since then. The transfer ban which the Blues were slapped with last season meant that the club had to keep Giroud for longer than they would have anticipated.

The 2018 World Cup winner still has international ambitions and wants to play in the rescheduled European Championships next year. It is safe to say that Giroud will probably not make the France Euro squad if he does not play regularly.

The criteria for gaining selection to Les Bleus is incredibly difficult. The French will go into the European Championships as one of the favourites.

Giroud could still have a lot to contribute to the French squad even though he is now 34-years-old. His skills and experience mean that young players can learn a lot from him.

 

Olivier Giroud’s Agent Lashes Out At Frank Lampard

Michael Manuello, the agent of Olivier Giroud has claimed that his client has been unfairly treated by Chelsea boss Frank Lampard.

The Frenchman is currently the third choice striker at Stamford Bridge- behind Tammy Abraham and Timo Werner who joined the club from RB Leipzig in the summer.

Giroud’s lack of regular game time could negatively affect his chances of gaining selection to the France team which will contest the rescheduled European Championships next year.

“With Olivier Giroud and without the signings, Chelsea were on 18 points from nine matches. These 18 points were gathered when Olivier started seven times. Chelsea scored 18 goals,” Manuello told Foot Mercato (H/T: The Standard). 

“Since the beginning of the season, Chelsea have played eight matches, scored 22 goals and taken 15 points. So if they win their next match, they will equal what Olivier did last year.

“It is not the same to play with (Hakim)  Ziyech, Havertz, Werner than playing without them. So we need to look at this relatively.

“But at the same time you’d be blind not to see that Frank Lampard has decided to put Tammy Abraham ahead of him. It is not frankly fair when you look at what Olivier did at the end of the season. But he has the right, it is his choice.”

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Giroud was in impressive form towards the end of last season

The veteran was in impressive form after the lockdown. He scored seven goals from 12 games after the COVID-19 lockdown and usurped Abraham in the club’s pecking order for some time. He ended last season as Lampard’s first-choice striker.

Giroud has little chance of regular game-time for the Blues

Lampard appears to be trying to build his side around young talent. Now 34-years-old and well past his prime, it looks unlikely that Giroud will be able to move up the pecking order again. Werner’s form has also been strong since his arrival at the club which makes it more unlikely.

Regardless of this, it is safe to say that Giroud’s contributions to the team since his arrival at the club in January 2018 has been positive. Nobody would have expected him to last almost three years with the club, especially as he arrived when he was already well over 30.

Former Chelsea Goalkeeper Asmir Begovic: Kepa Can Bounce Back

Former Chelsea goalkeeper Asmir Begovic has backed Kepa Arrizabalaga to return to form and “prove everyone wrong”.

The Spaniard joined the Blues during the summer of 2018 for a fee of £71 million from La Liga club Athletic Bilbao. There were naturally heavy expectations on Kepa, especially as he was replacing Thibaut Courtois who was joining Real Madrid around the same time.

“I don’t think it’s gone to plan for everyone,” Begovic said to TalkSport.

“These situations are never straightforward. If you spend a big transfer fee it doesn’t mean everything is going to work out; there are a lot of factors into making a move work and making an impact at a club.

“Mendy has come in and done really, really well, I think he’s really solidified that position. He’s been impressive, he’s been a joy to watch to be honest and he’s someone I really enjoy watching.

“But can Kepa still prove everybody wrong? Possibly. I think Kepa is a really good goalkeeper, he played really well in Spain before his move to Chelsea and it’s obviously been a bit of a tricky time for him.

“He’s got really good quality and I’m sure he’ll be a huge success, whether it’s at Chelsea or somewhere else.

“When you have that equality it’s only going to be matter of time before things turn around for him again in a positive way.”

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Kepa was never convincing in goal for Chelsea

Kepa has never been convincing in goal for the Blues. He has certainly never shown signs of emulating the heroics of his predecessors- Courtois and Petr Cech. He made several high-profile errors in his time as Blues’ first-choice goalkeeper. This prompted Frank Lampard to recruit Senegalese keeper Edouard Mendy. Mendy has since taken over as the club’s first-choice goalkeeper following his arrival. His performances have attracted praise from fans and pundits alike.

After sustaining a shoulder injury last month, Kepa has not even featured on the bench for Chelsea in recent games. His current situation has raised questions about his future with the Blues. The 26-year-old may want to leave the club in order to find first-team football elsewhere.

He was also tipped to potentially dislodge David de Gea as the first-choice goalkeeper of the Spanish national team. Kepa cannot afford to play second fiddle to Mendy at Stamford Bridge if he has hopes of usurping De Gea in the Spanish national team pecking order.

 

Report: Barcelona Are Keen On Antonio Rudiger

Barcelona are keen on luring Chelsea centre-back Antonio Rudiger, according to Sport.  Though he was a key player for the club over recent years, Rudiger seems to have slipped down the pecking order at Stamford Bridge following the arrival of Thiago Silva at the club.

As things stand, Blues manager Frank Lampard appears to prefer Kurt Zouma, Silva, Andreas Christensen, and Fikayo Tomori over Rudiger. He has made just one start for the club so far this season. As he is now 27-years-old, it is difficult to see him making a return to Lampard’s first-team plans on a regular basis.

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Could Barcelona provide a home for Rudiger?

Rudiger will need to play regular football if he wants to get regularly called up by the German national team. If he carries on not playing regularly, he will probably not be selected for the German team which will contest the European Championships next year.

Barcelona is a club in the rebuilding phase. If Rudiger goes to the Camp Nou, he could stand a good chance of regular first-team football. The Blaugrana are hotly tipped to enter the race to sign former academy product Eric Garcia from Manchester City.

Should a deal for the youngster not materialize in January, Rudiger could be brought in to add stability to the unpredictable backline of the Blaugrana.

The report also touted Arsenal’s Shkodran Mustafi, Federico Fazio and German Pezzella as potential short-term defensive options for Barcelona.

It is safe to say that Rudiger will be the best option for Barcelona from the aforementioned options. In addition to being vastly experienced, he is also a proven player in Italy, Germany, and England. He is at the prime of his career and could even establish himself as a first-team regular for an elite club in Europe’s top five leagues if he adapts well into the setup.

Chelsea Defender Ben Chilwell Raves About Timo Werner

Chelsea left-back Ben Chilwell has been left impressed by the contributions of his team-mate Timo Werner so far. The German joined the Blues ahead of this season from Bundesliga club RB Leipzig. Werner arrived in England with an impressive reputation after having established himself as one of the best German strikers in recent years.

He has so far adapted well to life in England, scoring four goals from his first eight Premier League appearances for Chelsea.

Chilwell believes that Werner is on a similar level as Tottenham striker Harry Kane and prolific Leicester forward Jamie Vardy. He has backed Werner to even challenge for the Golden Boot this season.

“I’d already say he’s up there with them two [Kane and Vardy] and he can definitely go on to be absolutely world-class for a long time for the next 10 years or so,” Chilwell told Soccer AM.

“I think when you look at his age and how prolific he is in front of goal, even now his start at Chelsea he’s scored a lot of goals already. Just in front of goal he’s so good.

“He has similar characteristics to both Vardy and Harry to be fair. In terms of running the channels and how quick he is it’s similar to Vardy. With Harry his link-up play and his finishing is similar.

“He’s definitely in a category with them two.”

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This season will be about learning for Werner

At 24-years-old, Werner is still a young player. He will reach the peak of his career in another three years. This season will be one of learning for the 33 times capped German international. Whilst Chelsea is a talented side, they are not among the favourites to challenge for the League this season as they lack the same level of experience as Liverpool and Manchester City.

It will be impressive if Werner scores in excess of 15-20 goals in the Premier League this season. This will not only prove that he has adapted to life in England, but it will also be a good platform for him to go and challenge for the Golden Boot award next season.

If the youngsters in the Blues team are able to lead the club to a solid top-four finish this season, there is no reason to believe that they cannot mount a solid title challenge next season.

Cesc Fabregas Gives Verdict On Hakim Ziyech

Prior to the start of the season, Hakim Ziyech’s arrival at Chelsea generated mixed responses. On the one hand, some fans felt that the club was bringing in a quality attacker who is currently at the peak of his powers.

On the other hand, some felt that the club was bringing in an untested player in England who could fail. Granted, the 27-year-old did not play in any of Europe’s top five leagues prior to his arrival at Stamford Bridge.

What he did have was an impressive reputation. He was one of the star players as Ajax dominated the Eredivisie and reached the semi-final stage of the Champions League in 2019.

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He has started life at Chelsea with a bang

Ziyech has so far cast aside doubts that he might find it difficult to adapt to life in England. The Morocco international made his first Premier League start for the Blues against Burnley last month and notched a goal. In doing so, he became the first Chelsea player since Diego Costa to score in his first two starts for the club.

In his second start for the Blues against Sheffield United, he provided two assists as his side recorded a 4-1 win.

What Fabregas had to say about Ziyech?

Whilst Fabregas and Ziyech are different players, the one thing that both share in common is that they are creative powerhouses. Fabregas has been one of the great creative outlets of the past generation. Ziyech will be hoping to use his creative prowess in order to help bring silverware to the Bridge.

“He’s a very good player,” Fabregas said to 90Min. 

“He has this vision that you need in a top team like Chelsea, who want to win and be champions.

“You could see that they were lacking ideas last season and maybe at the beginning of this season, but with Ziyech, you can see that he has this last pass. It’s not only that he sees it, it’s that he makes it right, at the right time. That’s the decision-making that we talk about nowadays.

“Why are coaches so tactical? Because they see the decision-making of the players is not that good, so they always need to teach them what to do. Before, I believe that coaches were not as on top of the players as they are now, they felt that maybe there was not as much need because the players already saw it themselves, but I believe that Ziyech is one of these players.”

Brighton Star Tariq Lamptey Opens Up On Why He Left Chelsea

Tariq Lamptey has suggested that he moved away from Chelsea last summer in order to take his career to the next level.  The 20-year-old is a product of the Blues youth development system, having joined the club when he was just 8-years-old.

After being promoted to the Blues first-team in 2019, the England U-21 international made just one Premier League appearance for the club. This led to him re-considering his future with the West London club and he subsequently joined Brighton and Hove Albion in January.

“I had to look at where I would get the most football and how I could take my game to the next level” he said as quoted by The Mirror.

“I sat down with the coaches, family members and agents and thought about what’s best for me. It was a really tough decision.”

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Lamptey has established himself as a key player for Brighton

Since joining the Seagulls, Lamptey has established himself as a star for the club and a first-team regular. He has proven beyond any reasonable doubt that he has what it takes to succeed whilst playing in the Premier League.

Some Chelsea fans now wish that the club never allowed Lamptey to leave. It seems like he is a type of player that would have thrived under the management of Frank Lampard.

Lamptey has drawn attention to his abilities as a result of his performances. If he can continue at this rate, it will be surprising if he is still affiliated to Brighton before the start of next season.

A particularly impressive fact about the youngster is that he has not needed a loan spell in order to gain more experience. Most youngsters are sent to a lower league club in the early phase of their careers in order to gain more first-team experience and mature.

Lamptey has not needed that which indicates that he is a cut above the rest of most players who are his age.

 

Report: Chelsea Veteran Is Eyeing An Exit From The Club

Olivier Giroud is considering an exit from Chelsea, as reported by Football London.  Giroud was brought to Stamford Bridge in January 2018 to provide competition to Alvaro Morata who had been struggling for form at the time.

He was brought in as a short-term solution to the club’s problems upfront and very few would have given him much chance of staying with the club for nearly three years. However, Chelsea’s transfer ban combined with the veteran striker making the most of the opportunities given to him meant that they had to keep him.

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Giroud has turned out to be a valuable signing for the Blues

Even though he has not been a regular starter, Giroud has turned out to be a valuable signing for the Blues.  Since joining the club, he has gone on to play 94 times, scoring 29 goals and assisting a further 14.

Towards the end of last season, he even managed to usurp Tammy Abraham as the club’s first-choice striker when the youngster was struggling for form.

Whilst Giroud can still play at the highest level, he has become the Blues third-choice striker after Timo Werner joined the club from RB Leipzig ahead of this season. He has only been used sparingly this term.

Giroud is hoping to represent France at the European Championships next year and will have to start playing regularly if he wants to do that. The report added that Inter Milan is interested in signing the 2018 World Cup winner and added that the player is open to moving to Antonio Conte’s side.

Inter are starting to show signs of rediscovering their glory days since Conte took charge of the club at the beginning of last season. Giroud can also take inspiration from the success that former Manchester United stalwart Ashley Young is enjoying at Inter.

The 35-year-old joined Conte’s side in January and has proven to be a shrewd signing for the Serie A side.

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Kai Havertz Gives Insight Into Why He Opted To Join Chelsea

During his four years with the first team of Bayer Leverkusen, Kai Havertz went on to establish himself as one of the most highly-rated young prospects in European football.  Despite being just 21-years-old, he had already boosted more than 100 Bundesliga appearances for Leverkusen before his arrival at Stamford Bridge prior to the start of this season.

Due to his displays last season, Havertz became the target of a number of big clubs across Europe. He was even linked with a move to Bayern Munich- the club where most of the best German talents spend the majority of their careers.

Now, he has revealed that Blues manager Frank Lampard was a motivating factor behind his decision to join the West London club. Havertz is hoping to also emulate Lampard’s midfield heroics as a player for the club.

“I was always impressed with his scoring threat”, said Havertz to Sportsbild.

“I found that outstanding for a midfielder. That’s what I want I want to measure myself against. The fact that he was so successful and at the same time so personable impresses me,” added the youngster whose performances have been impressive so far.

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Chelsea have an enterprising young side

With the likes of Mason Mount, Christian Pulisic, Tammy Abraham, Fikayo Tomori, Reece James, Billy Gilmour, Ben Chilwell, and Callum Hudson-Odoi on their first-team ranks, the Blues have one of the best young but talented sides in the Premier League.

Whilst they may not be among the favourites to challenge for the Premier League title this season, Lampard can use this term as a platform upon which to lay the foundations for future success. The side is also certainly capable of challenging for the Cup trophies that are on offer.

The youngsters in the team can draw upon the experiences of more senior players such as Thiago Silva, N’Golo Kante, captain Cesar Azpilicueta and striker Olivier Giroud.

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Three Former Chelsea Stars That Starred in the Chinese Super League

The Chinese Super League is an interesting space. Whilst some view it as a great retirement village once they have passed their prime, others go in the prime of their careers in order to ensure that they can have a financially well-off future. The following are three players who were loved at Stamford Bridge who opted to experience football in China.

Ricardo Carvalho

For many years, Carvalho was regarded as being one of the best defenders in the world. He was on the books of Chelsea between 2004-2010 and helped the team to win three Premier League titles and two League Cups. Carvalho had great longevity as a player and even was part of the Portugal Euro 2016 winning team at the age of 38. Carvalho spent the final season of his professional career with Shanghai SIPG in China. He is currently the assistant manager of French Ligue 1 club Marseille, tipped by the Olybet Website as 33/1 outsiders to win the title this year.

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John Obi Mikel

Though many will view him as being a squad rotation player, Obi Mikel was one of the longest-serving players for Chelsea in the Roman Abramovich era. He played for the Blues between 2006-17. During the Nigerian’s time at Stamford Bridge, he went on to make 349 appearances in all competitions, winning two Premier League titles, three FA Cups, one League Cup, the Champions League, and the Europa League. Obi Mikel can rightfully take his place as a Chelsea legend. After leaving Chelsea, he went on to play for Tianjin TEDA in China for one season. Since then, Obi Mikel has had spells with Middlesbrough and Trabzonspor in Turkey. He is currently without a club but at 33-years-old, could still have a move or two left in him.

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Oscar

Oscar shocked the world of football by signing for Shanghai SIPG at the age of 26 in 2017. Most footballers only remain in China for a year or two but the Brazilian has remained in the Far-East ever since. He sacrificed his international career for the riches of the Chinese Super League. Some will consider him to be a mercenary but from another perspective, he may be a genius as he may be securing the financial well-being of himself as well as his family for the long-term.

At 28-years-old, Oscar could have at least another four good years of football remaining in him. It remains to be seen if he will join another elite club in Europe.

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Analysing Chelsea’s Big Signings Ahead of the New Season

If one thing is for certain in what has been a very tumultuous year, it’s that Chelsea will be greatly bolstered by the additions of Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner ahead of the 2020/21 Premier League season.

There is a genuine reason to believe that the Blues can be Premier League title contenders next season. Frank Lampard’s young troops overcame pre-season expectations last season, to the point where bookmakers now have them at odds of +1000, or 10/1 when using an odds converter, on securing their first title glory since 2017.

Lampard’s youngsters are likely to be even better next season and Ziyech and Werner will only add to the overall quality and depth of the side. Today, we take a look at the role each player is likely to take within Chelsea’s first team squad.

Hakim Ziyech

Best started as an attacking midfielder or winger, Ziyech played a key role in helping Ajax Amsterdam reach the semi-final of the Champions League, as well as win the Eredivisie, during the 2019/20 season. Ziyech is known for an ability to move past defenders with ease and has a superb free-kick technique. At 27 years old, he is at the peak of his career. He could help to fill the void that was created by the departure of Eden Hazard to Real Madrid at the end of the 2018/19 season; a void the Blues have struggled with ever since. Ziyech’s passing ability, crossing and shooting will most certainly suit the Blues’ style of play perfectly.

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Timo Werner

The 24-year-old Werner is regarded as one of the best strikers in the world. He is a footballer that Chelsea fans can realistically expect to bag 25-30 goals per season. Werner was a key component of RB Leipzig’s rise up the football hierarchy since their promotion to the Bundesliga in 2016. He arrives at Stamford Bridge with confidence, having scored 34 goals in all competitions for the Bundesliga side last season.

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Werner’s arrival has created a debate over what Tammy Abraham’s future at Stamford Bridge will entail – if indeed he has a future at the club. If Lampard opts to continue with one striker, it goes without saying that either Abraham or Werner will struggle to get regular game time. Veteran striker Olivier Giroud is now at a stage of his career where he will probably not play every game, and the Frenchman will likely be used as a squad rotation player next season.

Do you think Chelsea’s star signings could propel them to domestic, or even European, success? Let us know in the comments.

Best Three Chelsea Centre-Backs In The Modern Era

The centre-back position is one that serves as the backbone of any football team, yet one which does not get the credit that it deserves. The following are arguably the best three Chelsea centre-backs since Roman Abramovich bought the club in 2003.

John Terry

Not many will argue against the fact that John Terry was one of the greatest English defenders of the modern generation. JT is truly a Blues legend and spent 19 years on the Blues first-team roster.

Terry helped the Blues to defy the odds to win five Premier League titles, five FA Cups, three League Cups, one Champions League and one Europa League. At the twilight of his career, Terry joined Aston Villa, where he is now assistant manager to Dean Smith. JT’s influence is such that those reading betting guides on how-to.bet know that although they lie 19th in the Premier League table, Villa still represent good value to avoid relegation this term.

These leadership qualities make Terry a shoo-in for a future Premier League manager, and in the eyes of the vast majority of Chelsea fans, Terry will always be “the captain, the leader and the legend”.

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Gary Cahill

Having to succeed John Terry as captain of the Blues was never going to be an easy task, but Cahill did it well. Even though Terry was officially club captain during the 2016/17 season, Cahill was the captain for the majority of the campaign as JT was a bit-part player at that stage of his career. Cahill captained the club to the Premier League during that season and helped them to win the FA Cup the following season.

Cahill arrived at the Blues from Bolton Wanderers in 2012 and he helped the club to win two Premier League titles, two FA Cups, one League Cup, one Champions League as well as two Europa League titles.  Terry left the Blues last summer and linked up with Crystal Palace after he fell down the pecking order at Stamford Bridge. Some will argue that his departure from the Bridge could have been better.

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Ricardo Carvalho

During his heyday, Carvalho was regarded as one of the best defenders in the world. Always reliable on the ball, he helped Chelsea to win three Premier League titles and two FA Cups before leaving the team to join Real Madrid in 2010.

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The Portuguese had spells at Monaco and the Chinese Super League before calling time on his career in 2018, and he is now the assistant manager at Marseille.

Three of Chelsea’s Worst Modern-Day Signings

The following players were signed by Chelsea and had been expected to hit the ground running. Unfortunately, all failed to contribute much at all to the club and did not even show glimpses of good form over a sustained period of time, unlike other signings considered flops on the whole, such as Fernando Torres.

Danny Drinkwater 

Drinkwater is probably the worst Chelsea signing in the modern era. His career peaked during the 2015/16 season when he helped Leicester City to win the Premier League title. Drinkwater moved to the Blues during the summer of 2017 for a fee of £35 million. He was quickly deemed surplus to requirements at Stamford Bridge and has made just 12 Premier League appearances for the club, which he is unlikely to add to. Drinkwater had an unsuccessful spell with Burnley in an attempt to revitalize his career and is currently on the books of Aston Villa on loan. He has yet to sparkle for the Villans, who are considered a safe option for relegation for those creating football accumulators.

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Marko Marin

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Marin caught the world’s attention during the 2010 World Cup as he delivered some promising displays for Germany in South Africa. Marin earned a move to Chelsea in 2012 from Werder Bremen and was dubbed as the next Arjen Robben. During his first season with the Blues, he made just six Premier League appearances for the club and it became evident that he was not a fit at Stamford Bridge. He then had four unsuccessful loans and his career never really took off. The 31-year-old is currently playing for Al Ahly in Saudi Arabia.

Gael Kakuta

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The DR Congo international joined Chelsea as a teenager in a controversial transfer from Lens in 2007. Kakuta was impressive for the Blues reserve team and the club’s former midfielder Michael Ballack heralded him as a future star. Kakuta never quite progressed and had six unsuccessful loan spells during his time with the Blues. He has turned out to be a journeyman footballer.

Chelsea’s Biggest Surprise Signing of the Modern Era

Surprising signings happen in the world of football. Odion Ighalo ended up joining Manchester United on loan during the January transfer window from Shanghai Greenland Shenhua which surprised many. Even though the Nigerian had decent success with Watford between 2014-2017, he was never really viewed as being a player who could play for an elite club.

The following are two players who joined Chelsea under surprising circumstances.

Mark Schwarzer

The Australian joined Chelsea during the summer of 2013 on a free transfer from Fulham when he was 40-years-old. Schwarzer at the time was past his peak. He had been one of the most respected keepers in the Premier League following lengthy spells with Middlesbrough and Fulham.

Schwarzer was brought to Stamford Bridge as cover for then Blues first-choice keeper Petr Cech. He played four times in the league during that season as Chelsea won the Premier League title. He deputised for Cech during a Champions League game against Steaua Bucuresti in December 2013 and in the process became the oldest player to debut in the Champions League at 41-years and 65 days.

Schwarzer was released from the Blues at the end of that season. Surprisingly though, he did not retire. He joined Leicester City on a one season deal and whilst he did not make a single competitive appearance for the Foxes, they went on to win the Premier League during that season.

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Olivier Giroud

Olivier Giroud joined Chelsea in January 2018 from Arsenal. The Frenchman was past his peak at the time but it was a win-win situation for both clubs. Chelsea at the time were short of quality up front with Alvaro Morata struggling to find the back of the net.

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Giroud was struggling to earn first-team minutes for the Gunners and needed to play as much as possible in order to win selection to the French team for the 2018 World Cup. In the end, the striker was included in the Les Bleus World Cup squad and he helped them to become World Champions in Russia.