A contribution piece from Jordan Bright
Frank Lampard’s side comfortably beat Grimsby Town at Stamford Bridge in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday. Two goals from Michy Batshuayi, while Ross Barkley, Pedro from the penalty spot, Kurt Zouma, Reece James and Callum Hudson-Odoi all found the net, making the Blues cruise to an impressive 7-1 victory over the League Two side.
Not only was the scoreline flattering, but it was Lampard’s first home win as Chelsea Head coach. However, the players that were on show were the main talking point as the Chelsea fans got a glimpse of the future.
ACADEMY PLAYERS GIVEN OPPORTUNITIES
Lampard fielded an XI which included five academy players, with the likes of Billy Gilmour, Reece James and Marc Guehi were all making their full debuts for the first-team. Also in the second half, two 17-year-olds from the bench in Faustino Anjorin and Ian Maatsen also made debut appearances for the senior team.
Let’s not mistake the fact that Grimsby Town plays in League Two, but with the team that Frank Lampard put out, Chelsea’s youngsters was in control of the match from start to finish. Even though Chelsea scored a staggering seven goals on the night, it was clear that the scoreline could have been more with the quality of opportunities that Chelsea had.
WHAT COULD THE STARTING LINE-UP BE IN THE FUTURE?
If Chelsea weren’t in the transfer market for any players, the current team – alongside the experienced N’Golo Kanté in the middle who is the best player currently have in my opinion – makes for a very promising future XI.
In the full-back positions, Reece James will be our main right-back for many years to come. His performance against Grimsby highlighted his quality and he assisted two and managed to get on the score sheet with a fine effort from distance. Emerson is our first choice left-back ahead of Marcos Alonso, as the Italian international has impressed so far this season.
In the future, Chelsea could invest in a world-class full-back once our transfer ban has lifted. But, if Emerson continues his form, which he has shown so far this season, Chelsea won’t need to spend big in that area of the pitch.
Another academy player who was a standout performer against the Mariners was Billy Gilmour. The central midfielder ran the game from start to finish and his performance resembled a former Chelsea player in Cesc Fàbregas. Ruben Loftus-Cheek is a no brainer in the midfield as he is one of our best-attacking players.
With the young, talented winger-duo of Callum Hudson-Odoi and Christian Pulisic providing the width and Tammy Abraham being the focal point of our attack line… things do indeed look promising for the Blues going forward.
TRANSFERS… WHERE CAN THE TEAM BE IMPROVED?
Like I’ve said, in the left-back position we could invest in a world-class full-back, along with investing in another centre half. But that all depends on the development of the current ones that we have at the club.
Chelsea is always looking at investing in strikers as it has shown in recent seasons. The likes of Alvaro Morata, Gonzalo Higuain and Michy Batshuayi have all been brought to the club, some for hefty price tags. However, none have proven their transfer fees and for now, Abraham deserves his chance as being Chelsea’s number nine.
These are just examples of where the club could improve the strength and quality of the squad in the next season or two. But no matter what – the team can be improved.
Alongside the talented youngsters, not in place of them.