The engine room.
Jorginho was an ever present in the side this season as he made 44 appearances under Frank Lampard. The Italian from his deep role in the squad managed 7 goals and 2 assists in all competitions as most came at the beginning of the season. Initially Lampard was happy to stick to a similar formation that Sarri employed last year which saw Jorginho in the pivot with Kante and Kovacic or someone else further forward. Once Chelsea and Lampard were caught out though and people started isolating Jorginho once again as Frank started tweaking the system. Towards the end of February and for a few games after lockdown Lampard preferred putting Kante at CDM with two attacking 8’s up front and Jorginho doesn’t have the legs to do either role justice. Jorginho was brought on in the final few minutes against Palace and he had a brilliant cameo as he saw out the win for Chelsea and with Kante injured he was brought back into the team playing in a midfield 3 or more frequently alongside Kovacic in a 3-4-3. Jorginho is great at what he does, the Regista role and he is a player made for a certain system. The feeling though is that Lampard wants a more high tempo attacking side and Jorginho might no fit the mould. Jorginho is a good leader as well being named vice captain at the start of the season and Lampard does respect him but I have a feeling that if a bid comes that Chelsea can accept then Jorginho will be sold. Nothing against the player, just a victim of circumstance. SELL?
Kante, arguably one of the worlds best defensive midfield players, and a player that struggled with injuries this season that carried on from the end of last season. Kante was rushed into playing the Europa League final last year and was brought back rather quickly to play the first few games under Lampard. The lack of recovery clearly took a toll on him as he missed 26 games this season due to injury. That is a lot of time missed for a player that is supposed to be a crucial part of any manager’s Chelsea squad. We all know what Kante does best and there is no need to get into that, under Sarri he also unlocked his goal scoring potential as he added 3 more to his name this season. There have been discussions amongst the fanbase on whether Chelsea should cash in on Kante and at 29 and so many injuries they might have a point. I am not on their side though Kante was not rushed back into playing at the end of the season and he looked no where near his best against Bayern but the break and pre season should help him. We should look into bringing in another CDM incase the injuries flare up again but Kante should at least stay at Chelsea for another season. KEEP.
Kovacic some would say had a breakthrough season for Chelsea under Lampard this over the last year. Kovacic has played depending on the formation but initially alongside Jorginho the two formed a very formidable partnership in the middle. Kovacic is great in carrying the ball forward he seems to glide through tackles and is ever present in making tackles and blocking passes etc. Where there is good there is also bad as Kovacic for sure can add goals and assists to his game especially if Lampard prefers going forward with two attacking mids in mind. 2 goals and 3 assists in 47 appearances is still a good season for Kovacic based on his role in the team. Kova’s consistency at putting in good performances makes him one of the favourites for being named player of the year this season and he is clearly underrated by the public in general. Kovacic going forward will probably be used depending on the opposition we play and most likely against tougher opposition but he is for sure an important part of the squad. KEEP.
Barkley has been hisself this season under Lampard, in that he has periods of great form but goes missing for parts of the season. Barkley made 31 appearances for Chelsea this season adding 5 goals and 5 assists to his name. Barkley was brilliant in pre-season and did well initially but an injury towards the end of October saw him miss the next two months. Barkley came back into the side towards the end of February with a great performance against Liverpool and Everton before the lockdown. Playing as an attacking eight alongside Mount or in a 3 alongside any one of the other midfielders, Barkley is mostly given a free role to attack but he also has to make the necessary tackles. Barkley has plenty of potential but at 26 he really needs to start turning that into consistent performances. With Havertz potentially coming in Barkley could see his playing time reduced especially if Loftus-Cheek stays fit and so it might be time to cash in on him with some clubs interested. SELL?
Mason Mount had his breakout season for Chelsea’s first team under Frank Lampard and that is a perfectly formed sentence. The 21 year old having had successful loan spells at Vitesse and Derby returned and with Lampard coming in he was always bound to get game time. Circumstances with the likes of Loftus-Cheek and Mount’s own determination to improve and play meant that he would go on to make 53 appearances for Chelsea this season scoring 8 goals and adding 6 assists. Mount featured in 37 of Chelsea’s 38 league games and played RCM, LCM, RW, LW at various points in the season. Mount has several traits that are similar to Lampard in that he loves making runs into the box and scoring goals and adding assists but Mount is also an engine. Mason’s ability to constantly press and run down loose balls etc has led to several goals this season and its probably the main quality that has kept him in the team. Mount is only going to improve and with more quality players around next season it will be a sight to behold. Mason might even a certain Havertz partnering him in midfield and that will be a sight to behold. Arguably several fans player of the season and one for the present and future. KEEP.
19 year old Billy Gilmour made 11 appearances for Chelsea this season as he broke into the squad towards the end of winter and going into February. Gilmour’s man of the match performances against Liverpool, and Everton were so weird to watch because one looked at him and I thought how is this guy only 19. Suited to a deeper midfield role but also able to go forward his dribble past Fabinho was particularly nice to see. The lockdown came at a wrong time for him and post lockdown he struggled to get back into the flow of things. Gilmour was beginning to gain some of his earlier form but was injured against Palace and remained out since. Gilmour will be back for pre season and hopefully fit for the start of next season and while he might not regularly play he is for sure a player Chelsea fans will keep an eye on because he seriously good. KEEP.
The achilles injury to Ruben in the post season friendly last year took a toll on him as he only returned to training towards the beginning of February. Ruben made the bench a couple of times and was nearing a start on the pitch but Covid hit and everything was delayed. The lockdown might have actually helped Ruben in hindsight because it allowed him to regain more of his fitness and physical strength but post lockdown he only started one game and came of the bench for most games. Injuries are something Ruben will have to learn to manage if he is to fulfil his potential and there is a lot of potential he can work with. Hopefully next season is one where he plays regularly and shows everyone what he can do and injuries stay away from him because he deserves it. KEEP.