Liverpool and Manchester City could face a new competitor within the next few years as Paul Merson predicts Chelsea to succeed under Frank Lampard.
As reported by Sky Sports, former Arsenal player turned football pundit Paul Merson has claimed Chelsea have what it takes to challenge for the Premier League title. He believes that the board has backed manager Frank Lampard quite well and the club could even go on to win the league in the next three-four years.
“They mean business. The owner has been brilliant; he’s weighed it up and gone – bang! Here’s your money. In three or four years, I’d be quite shocked if Chelsea don’t win the Premier League.”, Merson told Sky Sports.
The former English midfielder praising Chelsea’s financial activity in the market is quite unsurprising given the fact that the Blues have indeed been the most active club in the transfer market so far this summer. Earlier this year, they notably signed Hakim Ziyech, for a reported fee of £33 million.
It was followed by the acquisition of Timo Werner. The RB Leipzig attacker agreed to join Chelsea amid strong interest from Liverpool and even Bayern Munich. And the move raised quite a lot of eyebrows and for obvious reasons.
Werner is currently regarded as one of the most potent forwards in world football. His pace, athleticism, aggression and versatility could add a new dimension to the Chelsea attack that has already netted 57 goals so far, which is fourth highest in the Premier League this season.
The offensive combination of gifted players like Werner, Tammy Abraham, Mason Mount and Ziyech is, no doubt, an exciting prospect for the Chelsea fans next season. They do have the quality to compete with Liverpool and Manchester City, at least in the final third.
But at the same time, the gulf of difference between Chelsea and current top dogs of the Premier League is the defensive solidity and the presence of proper identity. Liverpool, with their Gegenpressing and Manchester City, with their Juego de posicion style of play, have embraced this effortlessly, thanks to the guidance of their excellent coaches in Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola.
As a result, they have not only boasted a strong attack but also a solid defence. And that is something Chelsea clearly lack, with only Burnley (45) conceding more goals than the Blues (44) in the top half of the Premier League table so far this season.
Hence, Chelsea’s success under Lampard in the coming seasons could heavily depend on how they manage to solve their defensive problems in the near future.
Signing a new centre-back in the summer transfer window could be a good start as the club has often struggled with the injury problems of key defender Antonio Rudiger. Lampard is keeping an eye on Nathan Ake, but it remains to be seen how this transfer saga pans in the upcoming weeks.