Chelsea have enjoyed a great start to the season – but could it be better? Maurizio Sarri is still working his magic on the Stamford Bridge outfit, and so far, a number of glaring inefficiencies have been noted. A lack of midfield consistency is an issue, whilst Alvaro Morata’s lack of form is still a pressing problem, but perhaps the most obvious difficulty for Sarri comes in the defence.
It’s not just the goals that Chelsea have conceded. They are problematic, but it’s more so the manner in which they have been conceded and, indeed, not conceded too. Against Arsenal, in particular, Chelsea could have let 5 or 6 goals in by the end of the game, and whilst they ended up winning the clash, that’s still a worry. If the Gunners were a little bit more potent and efficient, they could have easily won the game – and so it’s games against the likes of Man City and Tottenham, who are much better in front of goal, that will become a real worry.
Clearly, then, something will need to change at Chelsea, and so far, little improvement has been made on the defensive side of things at Stamford Bridge. Sarri has work to do, of course, but he’s also limited in terms of the players that he can select. Neither Antonio Rudiger or David Luiz have impressed so far, and so a lack of quality could be an issue.
Chelsea aren’t able to sign a new defender at present, but that opportunity could present itself in January, and one man that they should consider is Jamaal Lascelles. According to the Daily Mail, he had a bit of fallout at Newcastle last week and was reportedly dropped from the first team as a result, whilst he also apparently had issues with Matt Ritchie in the lead-up to Newcastle’s game with Chelsea.
Whilst all is apparently resolved now, that does hint at a worrying trend for the Magpies, and so if a big offer came in, whilst they may not want to sell, it could at the very least turn their head.
For Chelsea, the rewards could be huge.
One player that has been a constant at Stamford Bridge over the last few year is Gary Cahill. The Englishman has won it all at Stamford Bridge, and whilst he’s a divisive man, his quality truly cannot be doubted. However, now in his 30s and having been effectively excluded from Chelsea’s campaign thus far, the Englishman is clearly edging closer to the end of his time at Stamford Bridge. In Jamaal Lascelles, Chelsea would have the ideal replacement.
Cahill is one of the few leaders in the Chelsea dressing room, and losing him would leave a significant hole in the squad. Fortunately, Lascelles could fill it handsomely. He’s a natural leader on the pitch and off of it, and though he shouldn’t be scrapping with his teammates in training, that does indicate a level of passion and determination that is lacking at Stamford Bridge.
His quality goes far beyond simple leadership, though. He’s far more technical than Cahill ever was, whilst at just 24-years-old, he’s only getting better. He’s quickly building quite a significant pedigree in the Premier League, and that will serve him well for a potential step up. Chelsea have a few defenders that offer more technical quality than Lascelles, but in terms of sheer defensive ability, there aren’t many better.
Lascelles likely considered himself unlucky not to make England’s World Cup squad in 2018, but there is no doubting that he’s coming for Cahill’s spot come 2022. Perhaps he could replace the English veteran for his club, too, as he’d offer the Blues just what he needs.
Chelsea fans – thoughts?
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