The Bundesliga resumed in Germany yesterday, and the prospect of Europe’s top leagues playing out the remaining games of their 2019/2020 seasons behind closed doors grows ever more feasible.
The Premier League is quite far back in the queue, with players only returning to training this coming week, but it’s time to start seriously thinking about the practicalities now.
One issue that has always seemed particularly pertinent to Chelsea was that of what to do with players whose contracts are expiring this summer. Frank Lampard’s entire front 3 from the final games of the season all have contracts that run out at the end of June. Even the best case scenarios have games running longer than that.
Extensions can be offered to Olivier Giroud, Willian and Pedro, the three in question, but they would have to accept them. It seems likely they would want to finish what they’ve started this season, but that’s not a given.
Frank Lampard admitted today in his column on the club website that finishing the campaign with a different group was a real possibility. He explained that he understood that players is this position might want to keep themselves protected from injury, and stay extra fresh ahead of a new season starting on the heels of this one.
One would hope that those three veterans, with years of combined service to Chelsea under their belt, would risk it for the shirt. But one can’t judge them too harshly if they don’t, either.
In any case, the long break means a new situation for Lampard anyway. He will have Tammy Abraham, Christian Pulisic and others all back to fitness, and while they won’t be match ready, nor will anyone else after a 2 month break.
Of course, even if they won’t be as important to the team as they were when the season was paused, those 3 experienced heads will still have a huge role to play, with games likely to come every few days as the league looks to rattle off the remaining games at speed.
All would have a role to play, and it’s hugely important the club do everything they can to get them on-board for one last round.