With the Chelsea current midfield selection of Jorginho, Mateo Kovacic and Mason Mount playing so well, there hasn’t been much to question regarding Frank Lampard and his choices. However, with three players still to come back into the first team, Lampard’s next challenge is finding a perfect Chelsea midfield.
The Perfect Chelsea Midfield for Frank Lampard
Chelsea currently have found some consistency with their team, with Lampard often playing with a 4-3-3 consisting of a midfield involving Jorginho, Mount and Kovacic.
Jorginho is fulfilling his role perfectly from the base of midfield. He even recently showed his leadership qualities as he captained the team in the 2-1 Carabao Cup defeat to Manchester United. The Italian is currently playing some of his best football and is the glue in the Chelsea side as he also carries out defensive duties.
Lampard’s other deep-lying playing, Kovacic, has found the form that shows why Chelsea paid £40 million for his signature in the summer. His surging runs from midfield and ability to turn defence into attack have made him extremely attractive to watch this season.
The final cog for Lampard and the Chelsea midfield is Mount. The youngster spent last season playing under Lampard on loan at Derby County. He has been really impressing in his first season in the Premier League, already having four goals and two assists in the league this season.
Still to Come
French World Cup winner N’Golo Kante has struggled to stay fit so far this season. He has only played six times in all competitions and has missed game time due to a reoccurring injury from last season. Kante was possibly rushed back too quickly in Chelsea’s loss to Liverpool earlier this season but the Frenchman still looks set to return before the end of the month.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek suffered a long term injury during Chelsea’s post-season game in the United States. This has kept him out of the side all season and a return still doesn’t look close. However, there is hope that the England star will return shortly after November’s international schedule.
Fellow Englishman Ross Barkley has also been out recently after picking up an injury against Newcastle United. Barkley had previously been used in rotation with Mateo Kovacic earlier in the season.
Where Do They All Fit In?
In truth, Frank Lampard has quite a nice situation. His current Chelsea midfield is performing as well as any in the league. He now has three established international players to bring back into the side as the busy winter months approach.
On the other hand, it’s not that simple. Jorginho has already accumulated five bookings and will miss Crystal Palace’s visit to Stamford Bridge on Saturday. This means Lampard is left with 18-year-old Billy Gilmour to possibly make his full first league start.
Lampard must also juggle the workloads of the current squad and integrate returning players. This is not only to maintain spirit and moral but also as the recovery period gets shorter between games. The Chelsea boss will know the importance of not rushing players back after several key players have suffered further injuries.
Finally, once everyone is fit, he must make the bold decision to pick his best 11. It is especially hard to imagine how that would happen at the moment with the midfield’s high quality performances.
A fit Kante is up with the best players in the world. Loftus-Cheek was arguably their shining light last season. Meanwhile, Barkley is a well established and extremely talented player.
Who is Going to Play?
It is likely that Jorginho is going to play every game as he has become irreplaceable. He does a job that realistically nobody can do as a well as him, but the same can also be said for Kante and Loftus-Cheek when they are fit.
It is most likely that Mount and Loftus-Cheek will battle it out to maintain a starting spot in the advanced role behind Tammy Abraham. Meanwhile, Kante will have to convince Lampard that he is fit enough to consistently play and dislodge Kovacic.
One thing for certain though is that no player will play based on reputation. The performances of Fikayo Tomori, Christian Pulisic and also Willian have highlighted that positions are picked on merit.
This leaves Lampard in a healthy situation where competition is extremely high. Furthermore, all players want to and are capable of playing and solidifying a place in the starting 11.