Timo Werner and Kai Havertz could line up together at Chelsea next season(Image: 2019 TF-Images)
Chelsea have an interesting transfer window in front of them having already completed some important pieces of business.
The Blues announced the signings of Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner earlier this year even before the summer window had opened.
Such a proactive approach to transfers has led to Chelsea being tipped to make more signings this summer and address problem areas across the pitch.
If the right signings are made this summer, Frank Lampard could boast an incredibly competitive squad next season after an encouraging campaign with notable development.
To look at how the Blues could improve ahead of next season, it is worth outlining the strongest XI at Lampard’s disposal from the 2019/20 campaign – as outlined below.
2019/20 best XI:
Kepa; James, Rudiger, Zouma, Azpilicueta; Kante; Kovacic, Mount; Willian, Abraham, Pulisic.
Injuries throughout the season resulted in very few performances for this exact side. However, continued development from the likes of Tammy Abraham and Reece James showed signs of Lampard being able to get the best out of younger players in the squad.
If Chelsea are to continue on the right pathway next season, the likes of Abraham, James and Mason Mount could be key players. Crucially, though, transfer activity between now and the beginning of October will impact how Chelsea’s strongest starting XI will look next season.
Below, Summitnews breaks down the best starting line-up Lampard could have if dream signings are made this summer.
2020/21 best XI:
Onana; James, Zouma, Gimenez, Chilwell; Kante; Kovacic, Mount; Ziyech, Werner, Havertz.
GK. Andre Onana
The Ajax goalkeeper might not be the most ambitious option to be linked with Chelsea, but it serves as an upgrade on Kepa Arrizabalaga.
Chelsea have been linked with the Cameroon shot-stopper on a number of occasions in recent months as well as being reported to have contacted the player’s representatives.
Considering the need for other defensive reinforcements, investing in the affordable Onana could be a wise choice.
RB. Reece James
The English right-back enjoyed a successful 2019/20 campaign for the Blues.
Switching permanently to a back four will present new tasks for James but Lampard’s eye to the future suggests that he will be the first-choice option.
If he can continue to develop at a similar rate to last season, Chelsea could have a decent right-back option for years to come.
CB. Kurt Zouma
The French defender has improved rapidly under Lampard in recent months and lays a pretty good claim for a starting place.
At 25 years old and plenty of Premier League experience under his belt, Zouma may be ready to finally become a reliable figure at the back for Chelsea.
Defensive issues have been an issue at Stamford Bridge since Lampard arrived but the Frenchman has been one of the more reliable assets.
CB. Jose Gimenez
Speaking of defensive issues, there have been several names linked with a move to west London and Atletico Madrid’s Gimenez tops the list.
Vast experience under Diego Simeone in the Spanish capital highlights how much of an asset he could be at the back for Chelsea.
Crucially, the Uruguayan’s knowledge of football right at the top could be the type of experience and leadership needed at the back for the Blues.
LB. Ben Chilwell
If Chelsea are to shore things up at the back, replacing the defensively vulnerable Marcos Alonso will be key.
Leicester City’s Chiwell is perhaps the most attractive proposition given a series of impressive campaigns in the top flight.
Ben Chilwell has frequently been linked with a move to Stamford Bridges. (Photo by Plumb Images/Leicester City FC via Getty Images)
However, a sizable price tag means that Chelsea may need to make a judgement call on whether or not they absolutely need to sign him this summer.
CDM. N’Golo Kante
Despite some injury issues towards the end of the season, Kante remains Chelsea’s most important midfielder.
His ability to cover defensive depth and provide protection in front of the back four is up there with the best in world football.
If the 29-year-old can return to full fitness by mid-September, Chelsea’s midfield could afford more emphasis on attack in positions further forward.
CM. Mateo Kovacic
The Croatian international has been a constant performer for the Blues over the last 12 months as well as very important in the absence of Kante.
He retains possession well in key areas, offers constant pressing on the opposition and proves adept at progressing the ball when needed.
Kovacic might not be the most highly regarded player amongst fans, but his importance to the system is undeniable.
CM. Mason Mount
Very few players featured as much as Mount last season with Lampard putting faith in the 21-year-old just as he did during their time together at Derby County.
Given the additions made already, he could be asked to play a slightly more conservative role in order to add some more midfield balance.
RW. Hakim Ziyech
The Moroccan offers the Blues tactical flexibility in attacking areas next season and could be deployed as a No.10 as well as from the right.
But with Mount having played such a key role centrally towards the end of 2019/20, Ziyech can help form an all-star attack featuring fellow new additions Werner and Kai Havertz.
ST. Timo Werner
While Abraham performed well last season, it would be expected that Werner comes straight into the starting line-up.
His goal-scoring record over the past few campaigns speaks for itself but his positional awareness could bring up some interesting points for Lampard to address.
Under Julian Naglesmann at RB Leipzig, the 24-year-old operated as a mobile striker who often drifted to the left and those tendencies will be something for Lampard to consider somewhere down the line.
LW. Kai Havertz
The £90million rated man will be linked with a move to Stamford Bridge even more now Bayer Leverkusen are out of the Europa League.
If he is to sign for Chelsea, Lampard will have a range of attacking options at his disposal but, given the enforced absence of Christian Pulisic due to the hamstring injury he sustained in the FA Cup final, operating from the left-hand side could be best to fit others into the side too.
His experience in playing off either side as an attacking midfielder could add a new dimension to the attacking line-up with Mount providing further attacking threat too.