Chelsea lost to Kawasaki Frontale on Friday in a pre-season friendly. The result though, is unimportant.
For me, I was more surprisingly excited by two players who could end up being hugely important for new head coach Frank Lampard, especially early doors this season.
Mason Mount and Ross Barkley were our two liveliest attacking midfielders throughout the match, the latter probably impressing me the most he has done since he joined from Everton last year.
Lampard is initially without Callum Hudson-Odoi, and Ruben Loftus-Cheek – arguably the two most creative talents at his disposal. So he will need to get goals from other aspects, especially from the midfield positions.
Mount played under Lampard last season and he will be pinnacle. Used as a number ten, and a left winger yesterday, he was impressive. His movement was great, pressing intense, passing solid, and he looked to head towards goal every time he got the ball.
I’m comfortable if Frank wants to use him out on the wings or wide in a diamond formation, until Hudson-Odoi returns from injury. I think he will do damage and be a constant offensive threat.
Onto Barkley, who spent last season playing over cautiously and scared to make a mistake in order to keep his spot in the team. Early signs are that in this more advanced position in the ten role, his shackles have been released and the attacking freedom is back.
Yesterday was like watching Barkley of old at Everton, where he played fast, direct, and offered great attacking creativity and vision. He was receiving the ball, turning and going at pace towards the opposition goal. He made a number of final passes that really should have been finished off.
This is what I want to see from him, he’s strong and can be a real attacking asset and goal threat.
These two can certainly go a long way in helping Lampard’s first season as Chelsea manager, be a successful one.