Chelsea's Youth Movement is Paying Off
Has Chelsea's transfer ban helped the Blues?
Chelsea have shown a brand new philosophy this season under new boss Frank Lampard. Operating under a transfer ban, the Blues legend has been forced to use young players. They are thriving so far, with Tammy Abraham, Mason Mount and Fikayo Tomori among those making their names in the Premier League. Big money arrival Christian Pulisic, signed before the ban, has struggled for games due to Chelsea's young talent shining.
"It gives good recognition to the academy for the work put in over the years," Lampard said. "It says we have got good young players, but they are all at the start of their journeys so these minutes are hugely important for them to gain confidence."
A change in policy?
Chelsea have not lacked success in recent years, but a long-term plan has eluded the club. Regular changes in management have led to a short-term outlook, but Lampard appears able to see the bigger picture. Having worked with Mount and Tomori in the Championship with Derby County last term, he was willing to trust the duo. And even when Chelsea have made mistakes, such as throwing away a lead at home to Sheffield United in the Premier League, Lampard's faith has not wavered.
Although Chelsea lost to Liverpool and Valencia, he has been rewarded with a 5-2 win over struggling Wolves and a 7-1 Carabao Cup thrashing of Grimsby Town. Chelsea have used 10 players 21 or under, including England duo Mount and Abraham in nine of the Blues’ 10 games under Lampard.
Club legends off the pitch
Helping Lampard has been the arrival of former team-mate Petr Cech in an off-the-field role. Former goalkeeper Cech was made technical and performance adviser, while ex-midfielder Jody Morris is a key part of the coaching staff. It all adds up to a sense of cohesion around Chelsea's long-term planning, but as always it will be results that decide what happens to the Blues' new policy.