Frank Lampard is aiming to turn Chelsea into title contenders next season.

That looks like a realistic aim, given that the Blues have successfully adjusted to last summer’s loss of Eden Hazard, that they are now operating without a transfer ban – Hakim Ziyech is set to join in the summer.

One option would be to recruit domestically – West Ham forward Felipe Anderson, who recently discussed the two major leagues in Europe in an interview for betting site Betway would certainly not look out of place.

Alternatively, they could recruit abroad – we look at whether the Blues, who have recruited six of their last 11 permanent managers from Italy, can now find their on-field answers in Serie A.


Willy Caballero is now 38, so Chelsea will need a new goalkeeper in the summer – regardless of whether reports of Real Madrid’s interest in Kepa Arrizabalaga hold substance.

Pierluigi Gollini has been part of Atalanta’s unlikely Champions League progress and, having made huge individual strides since his time with Aston Villa, could be ready for a move.

Jamal Blackman and Nathan Baxter, on loan at Bristol Rovers and Ross County respectively, are good enough to be part of the squad.

Experienced centre-back

Chelsea have a lot of defensive talent.

Antonio Rüdiger is highly-accomplished in possession, Andreas Christensen showed ability earlier in his career with Borussia Monchengladbach, Kurt Zouma possesses power as well as panache.

Even Jake Clarke-Salter and Marc Guehi, lauded for their success at youth level, are enjoying positive stints on loan in the Championship with Birmingham and Swansea respectively.

Any one of these centre-backs could become world-class if guided by a battle-hardened leader in the mould of John Terry.

Without a Terry-esque figure, though, Chelsea can be a touch naïve defensively and they have conceded 39 goals – more than 11th-placed Crystal Palace.

Alessio Romagnoli has won 113 aerial duels this season for AC Milan – the third-most out of all the centre-backs in Serie A.

Quality left-back

Chelsea have not had a world-class left-back since Ashley Cole.

Marcos Alonso was defensively steady in the title-winning side of 2016-17 and popped up with some important goals, but his lack of pace has since become problematic and Emerson Palmieri is not a strong enough alternative.

Alex Telles has been linked with a move from Porto, but Luca Pellegrini has had an excellent season for Cagliari, on loan from Juventus.

The 21-year-old is a powerful and technical defender, also known for his stamina, work-rate and reliability.

Juventus already have two strong left-backs in Alex Sandro and Mattia De Sciglio, so the Italian giants may not be averse to letting Pellegrini depart if the price is right.

Central midfielder

The rise of Mason Mount is a huge plus for Chelsea, but N’Golo Kante’s form has been below-par since Jorginho joined in 2018.

It is difficult to successfully incorporate a deep-lying playmaker like Jorginho and a ball-winner like Kante in the same midfield, because neither offer any sort of goal threat – thus the Frenchman has had to undertake a more advanced role, which does not entirely suit his skillset.

For that reason, we could see Kante depart Stamford Bridge this summer and Lampard will need another midfield option – even with Billy Gilmour impressing.

Sandro Tonali, who has been linked to a number of clubs could be a potential rotation option for Jorginho.

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The 19-year-old has played more minutes than any other teenager in the top five European leagues bar one and is very much a regista, often likened to Andrea Pirlo – with perhaps a slightly more energetic and combative edge – with excellent movement and co-ordination along with his ability to set the tempo and play long-range passes with either foot.

Right-sided forward

Willian has been a dependable servant to Chelsea in his seven years with the club (and stayed last summer despite Barca interest) and Pedro possesses undoubted pedigree.

Both, though, are well beyond the peak of their respective careers.

At an age in which there are countless left-sided talents who love to cut onto their right foot, it is rare to find somebody who can do the opposite.

Dejan Kulusevski, though, comes into that category.

The 19-year-old has the height and physicality to be a viable outlet from lofted diagonals, yet he also has the pace, stamina, vision and versatility of a more nimbly-framed operator.

The Swede can play in several attacking positions as well as a box-to-box midfielder and possesses excellent technique, making him the ideal person to develop.

With Ziyech coming in, there would be no pressure on Kulusevski to deliver immediately.