Frank Lampard’s first season in charge of Chelsea was always going to be tough.
The club legend probably wasn’t experienced enough to take the role after just one season in charge of Derby in the Championship.
But it was an offer he simply couldn’t refuse.
That Chelsea had a transfer ban certainly didn’t help matters.
Very little was expected of the Blues this season.
- Chelsea 0-3 Bayern: Serge Gnabry tweets ‘London still red’ after scoring brace
- Chelsea fan makes video of Jorginho’s ‘gutless big game performance’ vs. Bayern
- Alonso said ‘I don’t know why someone would go to Bayern Munich’ last January
A fast start in the Premier League heightened expectations but things have since started to unravel.
They still occupy fourth place but they’ve already lost NINE times in the league this campaign.
And on Tuesday, they were humbled 3-0 at home to Bayern Munich.
It was a performance – and result – that left Lampard fuming.
He admitted that he “learnt a lot about my players” in the way they crumbled under Bayern’s second half pressure.
And now, according to The Sun, the boss is planning to sell EIGHT first-team players in the summer.
A busy summer is expected at Stamford Bridge having already secured a deal for Ajax winger Hakim Ziyech.
So, which eight players are on their way out if Lampard gets his way?
Let’s take a look:
Kepa Arrizabalaga: The world’s most expensive goalkeeper has been dropped in recent weeks and Lampard no longer trusts him. No good having a £72m goalkeeper sitting on your bench.
Kurt Zouma: Has had good spells this season but has since fallen behind Andreas Christensen and Fikayo Tomori in the pecking order.
Emerson: Had the opportunity to cement the left-back position with Marcos Alonso’s injuries but failed to do so.
Marcos Alonso: Good going forward but has failed to convince Lampard with his defensive ability.
Jorginho: The vice-captain has been brilliant at times this season. Great on the ball but needs to be better without it. No doubt angered Lampard after picking up a yellow card for dissent against Bayern, meaning he’ll miss the second leg.
Ross Barkley: This was supposed to be a big season for Barkley after an impressive pre-season. But he’s been too inconsistent.
Willian: Talking of inconsistency. Willian’s contract expires in the summer as he demands a further two years with a 12-month optional extension – something the club are refusing to agree.
Pedro: Pedro’s contract also expires in the summer. He’s found opportunities very hard to come by this season, making just seven appearances in the league without scoring.
So, it sounds like there’s going to be an almighty fire-sale in west London at the end of the season.
But who will they have to sign to replace eight possible outgoings?
Well, if Kepa leaves a new goalkeeper is on the agenda. Jan Oblak has been tentatively mentioned but having 38-year-old Willy Caballero as No.1 is far from ideal.
A new experienced centre-back would also be needed if Zouma left. Kalidou Koulibaly would be perfect and allow Christensen and Tomori to learn from him.
As for left-back, Ben Chilwell has been heavily linked with Chelsea and would replace both Emerson and Alonso.
A midfielder was also be needed with Jorginho and Barkley leaving. Perhaps Leicester’s James Maddison?
Willian and Pedro leaving wouldn’t create a huge gap with the incoming Ziyech as well as Callum Hudson-Odoi and Christian Pulisic able to fill the void.
Although Jadon Sancho wouldn’t be a bad signing…