While Chelsea appear to have improved under Lampard, issues remain. Defensively they are prone to lapses and issues with their pressing and structure. While Lampard’s enforced experimentations with youth are showing real promise, the lifting of the transfer ban gives the young coach an opportunity to fix some issues and engage in a little long-term squad planning.
We’ve looked for players 27 or under who have racked up more than 700 minutes, so that there’s a reasonable data set and each player is either entering their peak or is still a prospect. It’s always trickier mid-season so we’ve adjusted minutes played down from our summer benchmark. These players could be useful pick-ups for January, but they should also be considered longer term options – Chelsea don’t really need short-term fixes.