Lampard Xi

Chelsea have already secured the signing of Hakim Ziyech for this summer, and assuming nothing goes wrong in the next few days, Timo Werner looks set to join him.

A new left back has long been a priority area, and we fully expect Ben Chilwell (or a cheaper version) to arrive this summer to start the season as Frank Lampard’s first choice.

That means there have already been significant changes to the starting XI from last season. All three will be expected to play as regulars, meaning almost a third of the outfield players will be different.

They all represent major upgrades on what we have this season, so fans won’t be complaining. But it’s interesting to see how quickly a team can be revolutionised. Some might fear that the home-grown spirit that Lampard has fostered at the club might be under threat, but there’s no reason to fear that.

None of the recent academy players who broke through last year are going to be directly replaced by these new names. We can expect Werner to play up front with Tammy Abraham regularly, Ziyech to take on the wide creatives roles that were occupied by Pedro and Willian this season, and Chilwell to slot in to the space left by Emerson or Marcos Alonso – depending on who is sold.

Tammy, Mason Mount and Callum Hudson-Odoi will probably play a little less than they did this season, but only because more options are available to Lampard, of a higher quality. There will still be plenty of games to go round, and if anything giving them more time to rest and rotate will only help them take their game to the next level.

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