Who will Lampard buy in January with £150m to spend after #transfer ban was reduced?
#Chelsea will be able to sign players in January after their transfer ban was reduced to just one window on Friday.
The ban on registering players has been seen as one of the best things that could have happened to the club.
It allowed breathing space for the club’s considerably talented youngsters to come through and some of the gaps Chelsea thought they may have in their squad they have filled with some of their own.
Still, with funds from at least one window untouched Chelsea will be active when they are able to buy again.
Here, Sportsmail looks at the areas of Chelsea’s team that might be affected in January.
Central defence was an area Chelsea were keen to strengthen eventually before their ban.
David Luiz was advancing in age and there was strong interest in Kurt Zouma from Everton.
The way Fikayo Tomori has settled in at top level was something Chelsea could not have anticipated back then and has now given them food for thought. Frank Lampard was able to let Luiz leave for Arsenal knowing he had Tomori, at that time, in reserve.
He has started to form an encouraging partnership with Zouma who they retained and has improved as the season has progressed.
Chelsea also have Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen, who Lampard has yet to have full access to due to the injuries that have hampered them this season.
They also have high, long-term hopes for England under-17 World Cup winner Marc Guehi who has also featured under Lampard.
Strengthening in this position may no longer be an immediate priority. Chelsea do though, have a long-standing interest in re-signing Nathan Ake who has proved himself in the Premier League since leaving Stamford Bridge to join Bournemouth permanently in 2017.
Bolstering his left-back options is now high on Lampard’s list of priorities. Emerson Palmieri has overtaken Marcos Alonso as the current first choice but a long-term option to make the position their own is sought.
Leicester’s Ben Chilwell is the favourite for that role and a deal is currently being worked on to bring him to Stamford Bridge when Chelsea get the green light to buy again.
Buying players from Leicester is not cheap though and Chilwell would cost in the region of £70m. Valencia’s Jose Gaya is another option.
Kante is a Ballon d’Or level midfielder, Jorginho is on-level, but that’s not enough. Barkley & Kovacic are not that good for Lampard’s Blues, and Mount, who is an attacking midfielder, cannot play B2B. Chelsea need an elite one.
Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, who helped Lazio win the Coppa Italia last season, would offer Lampard more options in the midfield area. Chelsea officials have already contacted him way before the transfer ban lifted.
There could be a significant and relatively quick turnaround in the wide areas for Chelsea. Eden Hazard departed during the summer and Willian and Pedro will both see their contracts expire at the end of the season.
Willian has enjoyed a resurgence under Lampard that could well earn him an extension though Pedro has had less joy. Callum Hudson-Odoi and Christian Pulisic are Chelsea’s future in the wide areas but they remain keen to add another long-term option.
Crystal Palace’s Wilfried Zaha has been of interest for some time and the Blues could offer him the chance to challenge at the top of the table that he is craving. They are also monitoring Jadon Sancho’s situation at Borussia Dortmund but are yet to throw their hat into the ring.
What Chelsea do up front could be the most intriguing of all departments in their squad.
They had planned to buy a new striker in the summer and discussed the prospects of Luka Jovic, whose agent Fali Ramadani was also involved in Jorginho and manager Maurizio Sarri’s moves to Stamford Bridge.
The transfer ban scuppered them then and Jovic ended up joining Real Madrid. Now they have a dilemma.
Tammy Abraham has emerged and not just coped but flourished, scoring 12 goals already this season and earning an England recall. Olivier Giroud looks certain to be moved on in the forthcoming windows and Michy Batshuayi can’t seem to be much more than a back-up for the Blues.
So a new striker will be needed but it is whether Chelsea sign one to play ahead of Abraham, provide genuine competition or be his back-up is what now remains to be seen.
Lyon’s Moussa Dembele is being watched and Bournemouth’s Callum Wilson has also been of interest in the past though both would come with hefty price tags.