Frank Lampard has made the difficult look rather easy this season.
The Chelsea boss has successfully integrated a host of new signings into his side, has overseen an unbeaten Premier League run which now stands at eight games and has guided the Blues into the knockout stages of the Champions League with minimal fuss.
However, things do not get any easier in the coming weeks. Chelsea face a gruelling December schedule and then the January transfer window opens, which will force Lampard to make tough decisions over several members of his squad.
Click to play
Tap to play
The video will auto-play soon8Cancel
There will be departures, that much is inevitable. Too many players are on the fringes, firmly out of Lampard’s first-team plans due to poor form or sheer misfortune.
So who could be on the move – either permanently or on loan – in January? We have identified eight candidates.
The world’s most expensive goalkeeper hasn’t featured for Chelsea since an error-strewn showing in the 3-3 draw with Southampton in October. His future at Stamford Bridge appears bleak.
Edouard Mendy has firmly established himself as Lampard’s number one and has kept nine clean sheets in 12 games after joining from Rennes in the summer transfer window.
Kepa will not want to be second choice throughout the season, especially as he hopes to remain in the Spain squad ahead of next summer’s European Championship. Yet his stock has never been lower and Chelsea will not want to sell at a significant loss.
The 26-year-old, who cost the Blues an eye-watering £71 million, still has five years left on his contract. An 18-month loan – or perhaps even longer – starting in January may enable Kepa to rebuild his confidence and ensure Chelsea can recoup at least half of what they paid Athletic Club.
The 22-year-old has…