There may be nine days remaining in the January transfer window, but Chelsea head coach Frank Lampard has admitted that it may only be short-term deals for the Blues this month.
The Blues are aiming for a top four finish in the Premier League this season to qualify for the Champions League next season, with Chelsea currently sitting fourth in the table.
Chelsea are six points ahead of Manchester United and Wolves in fifth and sixth respectively, although both teams have a game in hand on the Blues.
However, Chelsea’s results have been up and down in recent months, with the home form a particular problem for the Blues, having lost at Stamford Bridge against West Ham, Bournemouth and Southampton.
As such, Chelsea are in a battle to hold on to fourth spot, with the Blues trailing league leaders Liverpool by 24 points, with second-placed Manchester City 11 points clear of Lampard’s men, while Leicester City in third are five points ahead of Chelsea with a game in hand.
The Blues are able to sign players in January, after their transfer ban was reduced following an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
But while they have been linked with a number of players this month, they are yet to make any big signings, with 16-year-old Bryan Fiabema the only arrival so far in January.
And while Lampard has said he would like to strengthen the squad in certain areas, he has admitted that he may have to wait until the summer to make some changes.
“I know and I feel where we need strengthening, not just in January, it is a difficult window for us,” he said.
“It is probably more of a short-term window for us. What this season has given us and continues to give us is answers on the pitch and in areas where I think we can get better and that’s for me to get right, I suppose for us, but not so much in this window.”
Several players within the Blues’ squad have also been linked with moves away, with Olivier Giroud, Marcos Alonso and Michy Batshuayi among the stars to have been interesting other clubs.
With that in mind, our Chelsea correspondent Oliver Harbord has looked at the players who could leave over the next few months, and what changes Lampard needs to make to try and overhaul his squad in a bid to challenge the likes of Liverpool and Manchester City next season.
It’s only been a season and a half since the Blues made him the world’s most expensive goalkeeper, however things aren’t working out too well.
The Spaniard has the worst record in the Premier League for shots saved and a lack of command in and around the box has been a big issue.
You only have to look at Alisson at Liverpool to see the effect a world-class goalkeeper can make to a defence, and Kepa isn’t there yet.
The Blues might be willing to stick it out with him, but question marks remain.
Marcos Alonso and Emerson
This could be a double-whammy in the left-back position to get rid of both and bring in a new player going forward.
Emerson has had his chance this season, and had a bright start to the campaign, but really hasn’t shown enough.
Alonso appears on his way out of the club as well and has slipped down the pecking order. It might be time to get rid of both and bring in some fresh impetus.
Despite sitting on the bench on several occasions, Pedro has been overlooked for other options and it is proof that his time is coming to an end.
With his contract running out in the summer, the Blues will be moving on from him and looking to bring in younger wingers for the future.
The Spaniard has been a great servant for the Blues, but it’s time for him to play elsewhere.
It seems to be that Lampard is not ready to use Olivier Giroud, and that does seem a bit strange that he has been so underused.
If Lampard isn’t going to play the World Cup winner, then it is time to let him go and make space for a new striker to come into the team.
It’s a shame, but Giroud could certainly give something back to the Blues and be an important player, but that doesn’t seem to be the case right now.
The loanees to let go
Chelsea might be hampered in the future with FIFA looking to bring in rules and regulations over how many senior players clubs can loan out.
The Blues have been one of the big culprits over sending players away from Stamford Bridge, and right now they have 26 players out on loan.
For this summer it could be a great chance to sell some of those who aren’t going to make it in the first team in the future.
Raising money for other transfers and also shedding some wages off the books could be a great chance to allow others to come in.
As far as defence, Baba Rahman and Matt Miazga are two who should be moving on, with their futures away from the club.
In midfield, Danny Drinkwater and Tiemoue Bakayoko are not fancied by Frank Lampard and getting them off the books would be the best thing for all parties.
As far as forwards, Kenedy has failed to really make his mark at the Blues and has been on several loans now. Currently at Getafe, it could be time for the Blues to overload him permanently to make space for others.
But who would you sell?
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