New Chelsea Manager Frank Lampard Faces an Uphill Struggle

Martin Green

Thursday, July 4, 2019 9:44 PM UTC

Thursday, Jul. 4, 2019 9:44 PM UTC

Frank's back, but Chelsea's chequebook will be locked away.
<div><p>New Chelsea manager Frank Lampard faces a ferocious battle to finish in the top four next season due to the club’s transfer ban. The Blues legend was announced as Maurizio Sarri’s replacement today after signing a three-year contract. Yet he will be unable to bolster a squad that finished third last season, as Chelsea are prohibited from signing players for the next two windows due to irregularities in snapping up youngsters. The 41-year-old will be forced to turn to youth in a bid to keep Chelsea among the Premier League elite, but the task facing him is immense.</p><p>The Blues finished 26 points behind champions Man City and 25 below runners-up Liverpool last season. In days gone by, Roman Abramovich would whip out the chequebook and make Chelsea competitive again, but that is not possible this summer. Instead Lampard will have to promote youth players, recall loanees and squeeze every ounce of talent from the players already at his disposal. He will also be without Eden Hazard, who left for Real Madrid in a massive deal earlier this summer. Meanwhile, his rivals are all preparing to invest in their squads, and Lampard may struggle to keep up in 2019/20.</p><h2>Chelsea 2019/20 Premier League Odds</h2><p><a href=";a=bf7f64f4-cd67-4904-9b00-6ded1d41fd18&amp;f=1" rel="nofollow" target="_blank" title="Bet365">Bet365</a> makes Chelsea 2.25 (5/4) underdogs to finish in the top four next season, with paltry prices on Man City and Liverpool, 1.50 (1/2) on Spurs and 2.10 (11/10) on Man Utd. Meanwhile, the Blues are 25/1 outsiders to win the Premier League title, the longest pre-season odds on them since Abramovich landed in west London. The Russian owner cannot attend home games due to visa issues, and he is pulling back investment in the club. Lampard is earning £3 million less per year than West Ham’s Manuel Pellegrini.</p><p>He is convinced he can enjoy a fruitful season at the Blues after falling just short in his bid to see Derby promoted from the Championship last season, his first term as a manager. However, that looks unlikely. The old adage goes that if you stand still, you get left behind. Chelsea are forced to stand still due to the transfer ban, and the loss of Hazard – the league’s most effective attacker in terms of goals and assists combined last season – is huge. Christian Pulisic is arrived, but that is not enough to mitigate the absence of Hazard. There is talk of bringing back players that were loaned out, but they were loaned out for a reason. It seems like a good idea to fade Chelsea in the top four betting instead.</p></div>
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