Here are three players who are at risk of being sold by Frank Lampard when the transfer window opens this summer.
Like every football club in the world, Chelsea are making preparations for the summer transfer window with little understanding of how the market will work and what their financial situation will be.
With games currently on hold and clubs dealing with the loss of matchday revenue as a result, it is unknown just how much money will be available to spend on incoming transfers, even for those like Chelsea who have been willing to spend in the past.
As a result, it is likely that we will see more sales, player swaps, and loan departures to help fund potential signings and balance the books.
With that in mind, here are three players who are at risk of being sold when the transfer window opens this summer.
Emerson has slipped out of Frank Lampard’s thinking as the season has progressed. The Brazilian full-back has made 14 league appearances this season, but only two of those have come since the turn of the year. Of those, one was a 15-minute substitute appearance in a loss to Newcastle United.
Emerson has not played a single minute since the start of February and has missed out on the matchday squad in four of the last five Premier League matches. And this is all despite Lampard switching to a back four and using Marcos Alonso at left-back despite the Spaniard’s defensive vulnerabilities in the more orthodox role.
Tuttosport also reported that Emerson was struggled with Lampard’s ‘sergeant-like’ management style and was keen to leave as a result. Emerson quickly refuted those claims, but his role in the squad has clearly depreciated as the year has progressed. He is on the outside looking in.
With Chelsea looking to replenish the left-back position, with Ben Chilwell and Alex Telles possible targets, Emerson’s sale could help fund the moves.
Another player who has seen his role decline as the season has progressed, Ross Barkley has struggled to make hay since signing for Chelsea almost two-and-a-half years ago.
Barkley actually started the first match of the season, a 4-0 defeat to Manchester United. He looked extremely sharp, despite Chelsea’s loss, but quickly slipped out of the starting XI.
“In the early part of the season when Ross wasn’t getting in, he can look at himself and say he could have been doing better probably,” Lampard told the official club website in March.
In October, Barkley went on a night out, including spilling chips in a taxi and refusing to pay for the mess which resulted in two police officers escorting him to a cash machine, in the build-up to a pivotal European match against Lille. Lampard conceded that it was a mistake but accepted Barkley’s apology.
Barkley began to work his way back into the team following a right foot injury and produced excellent performances in victories over Everton and Spurs in the Premier League, while he scored in the 2-0 FA Cup victory over Liverpool.
Nevertheless, with Reuben Loftus-Cheek now back in the fold following his injury nightmares, Mason Mount offering a younger option in the attacking midfield position, and Hakim Ziyech arriving in the summer with more spending in offensive areas anticipated, competition for places is great.
Chelsea, then, could look to offload Barkley in the summer in the hopes of turning a profit on their initial £15 million investment as the 26-year-old reaches a point in his career where he needs regular playing time, and that is unlikely to come at Stamford Bridge.
It is easy to overlook, but Chelsea were so convinced that Michy Batshuayi could be the Diego Costa replacement that they spent £33 million to lure him to the club almost four years ago. The Belgian international has rarely lived up to that price tag.
Batshuayi has quite the goalscoring rate, averaging a goal every 78 minutes across his time with Chelsea and several loan spells, his most prolific coming with Borussia Dortmund, but he has never settled at Stamford Bridge, making just five Premier League starts in four years.
And this season, Lampard has rarely turned to Batshuayi, despite having to deal with a transfer embargo in the summer meaning that he could not sign a new striker. Lampard has also been critical of Batshuayi throughout the season.
“Yes, Michy could be fitter but so can the others,” he said at the beginning of the campaign. “I will work with Michy. What I demand from the strikers is that they work hard off the ball because we want to win the ball back high up the pitch. It needs a lot of work.”
Batshuayi made his first league start for Chelsea in over 900 days in a loss to Manchester United in February. He missed several gilt-edged chances and was hauled off in the second half.
Afterwards, Lampard questioned his work-ethic once again. “Confidence is part of football,” he said. “The only way you get over confidence [issues] is by dedication and hard work. Every player will go through it no matter who you are. The only way to get through it is hard work.”
Batshuayi has played just 18 minutes in all competitions since then.
The Belgian seems set to leave Chelsea in the summer. Should the club invest in a new striker as is expected, any funds raised by offloading Batshuayi could be invaluable.