After a hectic summer transfer window and a relentless period of fixtures, Chelsea head coach Frank Lampard is probably relieved to have reached the point of the latest international break of the campaign.
Since the most recent international break at the start of October, Chelsea have been wading their way through an intensive period of fixtures, with both the Premier League season and Champions League group stages now in full swing.
Despite the intensive schedule, the Blues, who will resume their campaign with a trip to St James’ Park to face Newcastle United next Saturday lunchtime, have handled it brilliantly, with their form and performances earning no shortage of plaudits.
In truth, Chelsea’s recent form is something you would expect from a team that had been so heavily improved over the summer, as transfer guru Marina Granovskaia got deals over the line for the likes of Edouard Mendy, Ben Chilwell, Hakim Ziyech, Kai Havertz and Timo Werner.
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The Blues have shown their class in recent weeks, with the likes of Ziyech and Werner, in particular, proving pivotal in the victories over Burnley and Sheffield United prior to the break.
However, as is so often the trend nowadays, transfer speculation does not tend to disappear, regardless of whether the window is open for business or not.
And that has proven true as far as Chelsea are concerned. The club, who spent more than £220million on seven big-name signings over the summer, continue to be linked with a move for West Ham United and England midfielder Declan Rice, who was heavily linked with a switch to Stamford Bridge throughout the summer.
Chelsea were keen to get a deal done for the Hammers midfield enforcer, but the London Stadium club were not keen to budge on their valuation of around £80million.