Frank Lampard’s first season as Chelsea manager concluded on with a disappointing 4-1 defeat to Bayern Munich in the Champions League.
There is no shame in losing to the reigning Bundesliga champions, but it once again highlighted how frail the team’s backline is, an issue he will be desperate to rectify this summer.
The Blues have been linked with a string of high-profile goalkeepers, but when it comes to centre-backs names have been few and far between.
The latest to emerge is Manchester City’s John Stones, and the suggestion he could be moving to west London has produced a polarising response.
If the question is: How do I improve my defence? Is John Stones really the answer?
There are certainly Manchester City fans that would say no. Stones first emerged at Barnsley before flourishing at Goodison Park during Roberto Martinez’s time in charge.
It was then that Chelsea first showed their interest in the defender, but Martinez was adamant he was not for sale.
He would eventually join City in August 2016 for an initial £47.5million, plus £2.5 million in add-ons. The deal made Stones the second-most expensive defender in world football behind David Luiz.
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Stone was seen as the perfect foundation for Pep Guardiola’s revolution in Manchester. Their partnership was viewed as symbiotic, with Pep benefitting from a talented ball-player and Stones learning from one of the game’s greatest minds.
Sadly it hasn’t quite panned out that way. After Man City secured the title in 2017/2018, Guardiola dismissed talk of Stones leaving.
“I don’t know how long I will be here in Manchester, but as long as I’m here, John Stones will be with us,” he said.
That has now been replaced with speculation that City will accept a heavy loss on the defender in order to move him on.
While it might sound harsh, it feels like Stones has a distinct…