Chelsea have adopted an aggressive transfer policy this summer with a host of new arrivals expected at Stamford Bridge. The Blues have already secured deals for Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner while a number of other signings are expected before next season.
Frank Lampard is looking to stamp his mark on the squad after ushering in a new generation of youth talent at Chelsea this term.
The Blues boss was unable to make any signings last summer due to a transfer ban and was then left frustrated as the club failed to get any deals over the line in January.
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Lampard has therefore been forced to blood academy graduates such as Mason Mount, Tammy Abraham and Reece James while Billy Gilmour and Fikayo Tomori have also been promoted to the first team.
The youngsters have performed admirably with Chelsea currently third in the Premier League, on course for Champions League qualification, and also into the semi-finals of the FA Cup.
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The Bayer Leverkusen star had reportedly said he is ready to submit a transfer request in order to force through a move while Chelsea are thought to be the only club able to meet the player’s price tag – which is somewhere between £70m and £90m.
With the Chelsea hierarchy closing in on Havertz, a deal for Leicester left-back Ben Chilwell will become Lampard’s latest priority.
Both Emerson Palmieri and Marcos Alonso are considered surplus to requirements at Stamford Bridge but the Foxes could demand as much as £80m for Chilwell – the same fee Manchester United paid for Harry Maguire last summer.
Alex Telles and Nicolas Tagliafico are more affordable options while Declan Rice has been identified as a long-term solution to Chelsea’s problems at centre-back.
However, West Ham are reluctant to sell the 21-year-old so it would take a bid of more than £50m to secure the England international.
If Chelsea do manage to pull off deals for all their main transfer targets this summer, Lampard’s starting XI could look drastically different next term.
Werner would lead the line so Tammy Abraham will have to drop to the bench and Olivier Giroud’s game time would be drastically limited while Michy Batshuayi is expected to move on in the next few months.
Willian and Pedro are both out of contract and look destined to leave but Christian Pulisic has been in fine form and looks to have nailed down a starting berth on the left wing while Ziyech can operate on the opposite flank.
Havertz has the ability to play in the No 10 role and would likely move ahead of versatile midfielders Mount, Ross Barkley and Ruben Loftus-Cheek in the pecking order so the trio will join Callum Hudson-Odoi on the bench.
N’Golo Kante and Mateo Kovacic are first-choice midfielders in a 4-2-3-1 line up so Billy Gilmour will haves work cut out to make an impression while Jorginho could return to Serie A if the right bid is lodged.
Cesar Azpilicueta will compete with James at right-back while Kurt Zouma’s recent performances have moved him ahead of Andreas Christensen, Antonio Rudiger and Tomori in Lampard’s esteem.
Finally, Kepa Arrizabalaga looks set to continue between the sticks but his future is far from certain while Alvaro Morata, Tiemoue Bakayoko, Danny Drinkwater, Davide Zappacosta and Victor Moses are set to be offloaded.
Chelsea predicted line-up in 2020/21
(4-2-3-1): Arrizabalaga; Azpilicueta, Rice, Zouma, Chilwell; Kante, Kovacic; Ziyech, Havertz, Pulisic; Werner
SUBS: Caballero, James, Rudiger, Gilmour, Mount, Loftus-Cheek, Hudson-Odoi, Abraham, Giroud