Chelsea’s business in the summer transfer window resulted in the club possessing the strongest first-team squad in the Premier League.
However, that wasn’t entirely achieved by design.
While the Blues spent heavily to bring in the likes of Kai Havertz, Timo Werner, Hakim Ziyech and more, the club were unable to move on fringe players and those not in the plans of Frank Lampard.
It left Chelsea with a bloated squad come the end of the summer transfer window. There were five centre-backs for two positions, three left-backs, and too many midfielders, especially with Mason Mount and Kai Havertz often used as number eights.
Lampard was never going to find it easy to keep every player involved in his side on a regular basis. So it proved.
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Antonio Rudiger and then Fikayo Tomori had spells outside the match-day squads. Marcos Alonso, meanwhile, was dropped entirely after a rather calamitous evening against West Bromwich Albion in September.
Jorginho rarely featured in the Premier League during the final weeks of Lampard’s reign. Callum Hudson-Odoi couldn’t shake his tag as an impact substitute. And it took Didier Deschamps to question Olivier Giroud’s future at Stamford Bridge for him to be given game time.
These examples aren’t to criticise Lampard. They merely highlight the reality of the situation he was in. If the likes of Rudiger, Jorginho and Hudson-Odoi were starting every game, other players would’ve been on the periphery.
Chelsea’s large squad, which currently contains 23 senior internationals, wasn’t the reason for Lampard’s downfall at Stamford Bridge. But it was undoubtedly a factor as to why things went wrong.
Yet in a curious twist of fate, what proved such an issue for Lampard is likely to be of huge benefit to Thomas Tuchel for the remainder…