Paul Merson has explained that he’s concerned about how Chelsea will keep all the players in their squad happy, after seriously strengthening in the summer transfer window so far with some quality signings.
Blues manager Frank Lampard knows he needs a competitive squad if they are to really challenge for silverware in the new campaign and in most areas of the pitch there are now more than one strong option.
Despite a decent campaign last year with a fourth-placed finish in the league and a runners-up position in the FA Cup, they now need to go one step further following the arrival of some big transfers.
Kai Havertz, Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech are now at Stamford Bridge to potentially bring real dynamism going forward, while defensively they should improve after welcoming experienced centre-back Thiago Silva and also England international Ben Chilwell at left-back.
Merson feels the pressure is firmly on Lampard to produce with his talented group of players, but has suggested it will be difficult to keep all of them happy.
“Chelsea will be right in there too [with Liverpool and Manchester City]. They have done some great business and if they finish above Liverpool, I wouldn’t be shocked,” Merson told the Daily Star.
“The worry for Chelsea is keeping all their players happy with all those new signings. Who’s going to play? The pressure’s on Frank Lampard now.
“Did anybody else really want the job when he got it? They had just sold Eden Hazard. Couldn’t buy players. Now, he’s got to produce.”
Any manager in the game must find it difficult telling half his squad each week they are not in the starting XI, but if the team is delivering on the pitch by competing for silverware then there is going to be a much greater harmony in group.
Chelsea are going to have plenty of talented individuals each game, but Lampard will surely be reassuring them that they face a lot fixtures during a hectic upcoming season and he’s going to have to rotate frequently to compete on all fronts.
The arrival of the new signings should only raise the levels of the squad and competition for places should be a great thing for Chelsea.