Frank Lampard‘s Chelsea ran out 4-0 winners against Krasnodar in the Champions League. Goals from Callum Hudson-Odoi, Timo Werner, Hakim Ziyech and Christian Pulisic secured the win in Russia after back-to-back goalless draws.
Although many would be quick to recognise the impact of the added attacking talent during the 4-0 victory, Lampard will be pondering over his defensive options as the main question moving forward. Kurt Zouma and Antonio Rudiger were given the nod against Krasnodar and looked comfortable in Chelsea’s third successive clean sheet.
Frank Lampard and Chelsea Face Centre-Back Conundrum
The Defensive Woes of Yesterday
One theme that emerged from Franks Lampard’s first season at Stamford Bridge was that the number of goals that Chelsea were involved in. The Blues recorded 69 goals in a relatively successful season going forward, however, there were also defensive frailties clear for all to see.
Chelsea conceded 54 goals in their 38 games last season, more than any other top half club. The signs were there that Frank Lampard needed to priorities defensive reinforcements in the summer. And that he did. Similar to last night’s performance, people were quick to reflect upon Chelsea’s attacking additions, but it was the defensive recruits that were of higher importance.
Thiago Silva Brings Stability and Confidence
The signing of Thiago Silva gave Chelsea fans a sense that they were addressing their previously leaky defence in the moment, as opposed to recruiting for the future. The Brazilian is a world-class footballer and a proven winner and, regardless of his age, someone that the Blues needed.
His composed yet driven nature, combined with his defensive prowess, quickly shot him up to Chelsea’s first-choice central defender. The positive impact that the 36-year-old has on the club’s progression is two-fold – he provides a current solution to Chelsea’s problems and he will aid the development of the younger defenders coming in. Subsequently, from Frank Lampard’s perspective, Thiago Silva’s presence is very much valued and respected, even when he is not involved with the team.
Will the Centre-Back Situation at Chelsea Change in January?
Chelsea have five central defenders fighting for two starting spots. Although, an overload in the defensive department has helped during this recent congested fixture list, it is unlikely to be sustained.
The general feeling looking into the club and how Frank Lampard has recently used his squad, the club may be looking towards off-loading one of Antonio Rudiger or Fikayo Tomori. It seems at only 22-years-old that the latter would be part of a loan-deal to gain more first-team experiences.
A move away from Stamford Bridge for either of the two would benefit both parties. For the individual, playing regular football would certainly be enticing, whereas Chelsea would be reducing their wage-bill and ensuring the squad remains content.