The transfer window isn’t quite open for Premier League clubs but that hasn’t stopped the rumours from circulating. One of the clubs constantly in the rumour mill is Chelsea. Timo Werner has been the name on the Blues fans’ lips. At this point, while it isn’t official yet, it would a huge surprise if the young German striker didn’t move to West London in the coming weeks
Along with Werner, another young German has been linked with Chelsea. Bayer Leverkusen’s Kai Havertz has had links to the Blues over the past couple of weeks, according to Goal. The Havertz deal is nowhere close to being finished, but what happens if Chelsea brings in both Werner and Havertz?
What Signing Timo Werner and Kai Havertz Could Mean for Chelsea’s Youth
Revolution by Necessity, Rather Than Choice
The youth revolution that has happened at Chelsea over the past 12 months has been remarkable. After a transfer ban forced Roman Abramovic to invest in his youth, many exciting prospects were on display like phoenixes rising from the ashes. Frank Lampard gave chances to the likes of Tammy Abraham, Mason Mount, Reece James and Fikayo Tomori, among others. What a breath of fresh air for Chelsea fans who have begged for the team to give a chance to their youth.
There is a lot of work to be done still as the team is still very young and inexperienced. Furthermore, while Cristian Pulisic, Callum Hudson-Odoi, and Ruben Loftus-Cheek have been hampered by injuries, they’re all still very talented players that are expected to play big roles for the club. On top of the fact that Willian and Pedro are expected to be playing their final game in Chelsea blue in the upcoming weeks, the club have plenty of players to fill the positions as they are even awaiting the arrival of Ajax’s Hakim Ziyech, whose deal was secured back in January.
Formations and Depth
Now, how does Frank Lampard fit all these players into one team? Well, there are a couple of moving factors. First and foremost, there is no such thing as bad depth. All of these players won’t be starters. However, if you look at the Manchester City team that won back-to-back Premier League trophies, one can easily tell that the team was stacked with talent. There were plenty of world-class players for almost every single position. Chelsea’s young players aren’t quite world-class yet but they certainly have the potential to grow as players.
The players at Lampard’s disposal will give him the versatility to play around with different formations, too. Realistically, Lampard can play a 4-3-3, 4-5-1, 4-4-2, 3-4-3, 3-5-2, and different variations of those formations.
The biggest and most important thing is for Lampard to not try and fit as many of his best players as possible. That can cause players to be played out of position or in roles they aren’t suited for. Instead of fitting square pegs into round holes, find a system that works and stick to it. There will always be alternative ways to play based on the fulcrum of talent in the team but a specific identity needs to be fixated into the team.
The potential options for attacking talent is truly outstanding. Werner, Abraham, Pulisic, Hudson-Odoi, Ziyech, Mount, possibly Havertz, and even Loftus-Cheek who can play in a number ten role. Every single one of the players mentioned can play in multiple different roles as well which speaks to the versatility in the side.
Here are a few different ways the forward line can possibly line-up under different formations:
4-5-1: Havertz in the hole, Pulisic-Werner-Ziyech
4-4-2: Pulisic and Ziyech on the flanks, Werner-Abraham
3-5-2: Havertz in the hole, Werner-Abraham
(Mount and Hudson-Odoi aren’t likely starters)
Depending on what formation is chosen, it’s very possible that homegrown talents such as Abraham, Hudson-Odoi and Mount could all end up on the bench. Abraham and Mount have been trusted by Lampard thus far but their roles could be reduced with the introduction of these new talents.
Another important point is the fact that injuries are inevitable. Pulisic, Hudson-Odoi, and Loftus-Cheek have missed significant time. New talents could more than make up for this problem.
Left-Back and Goalkeeper
All the talk is on the attack but Chelsea have more problems than that. A left-back is a top priority with Emerson underwhelming, and Marcos Alonso becoming a liability in a back four. A goalkeeper is also a problem that needs to be addressed. Kepa Arrizabalaga has been less than impressive this season between the sticks. It’s unlikely that management will give up on him due to his big price tag. However, a back-up that could go head to head with him would be a smart move. Currently, Willy Caballero is a serviceable back-up but at 38-years-old, he’s on his last legs.
Keep the Revolution Going
The smartest thing for Chelsea to do is to secure the signing of Timo Werner as he is already one of the top strikers in the world. However, Havertz isn’t a player that Chelsea desperately need. There are other players that can play in that position and if they want to give their youth a chance then they should find a balance. Hudson-Odoi should be the first name to sub in as he can play on either flank. Against weaker opposition, Mount can play in attacking midfield and can also be a depth option on the left-wing. Loftus-Cheek can slot in a midfield three easily and play in attacking midfield. Finally, Abraham can play alongside Timo Werner, be a depth option, and even play up top with Werner playing on the left-wing. On the left flank is a position Werner has played before.
Chelsea have options but they can’t make the same mistake that they’ve made in years past. Don’t give up on the youth movement.