Chelsea are the butt of most Premier League jokes after their 3-1 defeat to Manchester City on Sunday.
A first-half capitulation that saw quickfire goals from Ilkay Gundogan, Phil Foden and Kevin De Bruyne has led to serious questions being asked about Frank Lampard’s managerial position.
Lampard under fire
The club legend has been held to a much higher standard during the 2020/21 campaign as a result of the Blues’ heavy spending in the summer that spilled over the £200 million mark.
His first season, on the other hand, had been seen expectations set far lower because of the club’s transfer ban and the loss of star player Eden Hazard to Real Madrid.
But with Chelsea having actually gone downhill – at least as far as the statistics are concerned – since the big money spending, the club’s squad has been placed under the microscope.
Chelsea squad: Keep or sell?
As a result, regardless of whether Lampard’s head rolls or not, we also wanted to take a deep-dive into Chelsea affairs and make executive decisions on their first-team squad for 2020/21.
So, without further ado, here is our ‘keep or sell?’ verdict on the current batch of Chelsea players:
Kepa Arrizabalaga – Sell
Willy Caballero – Keep
Edouard Mendy – Keep
I think we can all agree that Arrizabalaga hasn’t been able to cut the mustard in the Premier League and it’s in the best interest of both parties to cut ties before even more money drains out of a possible deal.
Meanwhile, yes, there have been chinks in Mendy’s armour recently, but he’s shown enough quality to suggest he’ll grow in Chelsea’s number one jersey – and Caballero is a sound back-up option.
Antonio Rudiger – Sell
Marcos Alonso – Sell
Andreas Christensen – Sell
Thiago Silva – Keep
Fikayo Tomori – Keep
Kurt Zouma – Keep
Ben Chilwell – Keep
Reece James – Keep
Cesar Azpilicueta – Keep
Emerson Palmieri – Keep
Here’s where a lot of the clutter has piled up in Chelsea’s squad because you really have to wonder whether players like Alonso and Christensen are good enough for a top Champions League side.
Rudiger, on the other hand, has shown his quality at times in the Premier League, but a lack of trust from Lampard suggests all isn’t well and the Blues could make a fair few bucks from his sale.
But on a more positive note, the quartet of Silva, Chilwell, James and Zouma have arguably been Chelsea’s best performers this season and it would be far too early to cut the chord with Tomori.
Meanwhile, Emerson remains a useful squad player for his energy and dynamism on the defensive flank, while Azpiliceuta is worth keeping for being one of the Premier League’s best captains if nothing else.
Jorginho – Sell
Danny Drinkwater – Sell
N’Golo Kante – Keep
Mateo Kovacic – Keep
Mason Mount – Keep
Hakim Ziyech – Keep
Billy Gilmour – Keep
Kai Havertz – Keep
Call it harsh, but Jorginho has felt like a square peg in a round hole for over two seasons at Stamford Bridge and there comes a point where you need admit that things just aren’t going to work out. That, for us, should be soon.
The sale of Drinkwater, who was last seen being sent off for Chelsea’s youth team in disgrace, is an obvious one for everybody involved but those two aside, the Blues should keep the faith with their midfielders.
Yes, Ziyech and Havertz haven’t set the world alight this season, but you only have to look at players like Fred and Heung-min Son to see that it can take time to thrive in the Premier League.
Tammy Abraham – Keep
Christian Pulisic – Keep
Olivier Giroud – Keep
Callum Hudson-Odoi – Keep
Timo Werner – Keep
Have I gone soft? Honestly, maybe, but I’ll be damned if Chelsea’s attacking options don’t look phenomenal on paper and I actually think Werner comes the closest to warranting the ‘sell’ tag.
But I just don’t have it in me when Werner’s class at one of Europe’s top clubs was so apparent so recently, not to mention the fact he’s actually still amongst Chelsea’s leading scorers this season.
The only two players who can match or beat his record? Giroud and Abraham, so they’re obviously safe, while Hudson-Odoi is arguably having his best season in a Chelsea shirt and well, Pulisic hasn’t even played 50 games yet.
Not the squad’s fault?
So, what’s the moral of the story here? Well, aside from a disproportionate amount of deadwood bobbing up and down in the defensive ranks, it seems as though the problem isn’t the squad.
Well, what we mean by that is that some of the poorest performers relative to their quality are actually some of the new signings and let’s face it, we should have seen this coming a mile off.
There have been countless instances of world-class players struggling to make the step up to the Premier League and it’s going to take time for new arrivals like Havertz and Werner to adjust.
How much is that Lampard’s fault? It’s hard to say, but with a squad largely full of individuals who deserve to stick around in west London, you really can’t help wondering…