Chelsea boss Frank Lampard was lauded for how he used the club’s younger players in his first campaign at the club. In some ways he was forced into it due to the transfer ban but he often picked the academy graduates ahead of seasoned professionals. But that could be about to change this season following Roman Abramovich’s spending spree.
Mason Mount played 53 times in all competitions last term – more than any other player in the Chelsea squad.
Tammy Abraham was the club’s top scorer with 18 goals in his 47 matches.
However, Mount and Abraham both see their positions in the team under serious threat following the summer acquisitions.
Chelsea owner Abramovich has clearly decided to change tactics from recent windows and back his head coach with several big-name arrivals.
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Over £200million has been spent on attackers Timo Werner, Hakim Ziyech and Kai Havertz and defenders Ben Chilwell, Thiago Silva and Malang Sarr.
With the abundance of wide players at Lampard’s disposal, Werner is likely to be the main centre-forward heading into the season, meaning Abraham is set to play second fiddle.
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Havertz can play a variety of positions but the No 10 spot looks most likely, making it difficult for Lampard to include Mount in the same starting XI as the Germany international.
Centre-back Fikayo Tomori could also fall further down the pecking order following the arrival of former PSG captain Silva.
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Tomori appeared 22 times last season but fell out of favour towards the end of the campaign and could now find opportunities hard to come by.
Former Chelsea striker Tony Cascarino agrees the club’s youngsters are set to suffer after Abramovich’s splurge.
“I think it was a good place [for youngsters] last year but I don’t think it’s going to be a good place for years to come,” Cascarino said on talkSPORT.
“I don’t, I just think they will spend big. They’ve spent big for the last decade-and-a-half.
“They haven’t used the majority [of their youngsters], even with the exciting youth teams they’ve had, very few have broken few.
“Last year they did, now I would think less will play this season, and down the line Chelsea are going to keep spending.
“They’re not going to be a club that’s going to stop tomorrow.”
Cascarino is right, Chelsea will continue to spend, with goalkeeper Edouard Mendy and West Ham star Declan Rice reportedly eyed as targets before the end of the window.
Chelsea needed to improve their squad and Abramovich is right to do so.
But that will come at a cost for some of Lampard’s most-used players last season.
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