Frank Lampard has taken his first training session as Chelsea boss and for the youth and loanees their trial period to impress the new boss has begun.
We have already spoken about how the transfer ban and a new boss create a new opportunity but now it is time for the hot prospects and forgotten men to get out there and show what they are worth.
The squad is currently in Dublin for the start of pre-season training and even in the video you can see players you had forgotten played for Chelsea auditioning in front of the new gaffer.
The squad is mainly youth or returning loanees who will play two games in Ireland. They will get a chance to have the full attention of the new manager before the stars arrive back in the coming days and weeks.
The transfer ban means that Chelsea’s forgotten loan army are the only resources available to the new manager to strengthen the squad
Chelsea loaned out more than 40 players last season and it may feel that going on loan is like going to a casino where you cannot work out if you are the house or not.
These are players who went to play for everyone from European giants such as AC Milan down to minnows both domestically and far flung parts of the world.
Some have played for previous Blues managers and will be hoping to be welcomed back into the fold such as Victor Moses or Kurt Zouma. Whereas others will be hoping that a change in management will end their years out on loan (Todd Kane).
Then there are the true outcasts such as Baba Rahman who will appear like a new signing should he be drafted into the squad as cover at left back.
The Impact of The Transfer Ban
A transfer ban means that aside from Christian Pusilic there will be no one from outside the club coming to strengthen the squad.
This means that there will be space in the squad in virtually every position.
The departure of Eduardo and Robert Green means that there is a need for a back up goalkeeper. In defence Gary Cahill and potentially Marcos Alonso will need to be replaced. In midfield a change in system may see some gaps for a squad midfielder or two.
Players That May Experience A Resurgence
Having been at the club since his teens Kurt Zouma is a bit of a cult hero to Chelsea fans having broken into the team in the past.
He had a great loan to Premier League club Everton last season that suggests he will be able to challenge for a starting spot should he stay at Stamford Bridge.
Although he had a promising start Baba Rahman has so far had an underwhelming Chelsea career.
The expected departure of Marcos Alonso and experience in the Bundesliga may seem him welcomed back into the fold.
Marco Van Ginkel
Be honest you might have forgotten that Van Ginkel was still at Chelsea, however he was actually in the Chelsea squad for the latter half of the 2018/2019 season but failed to make an appearance.
The midfielder has been highly rated in the past and if injury free could offer something different to the new gaffer.
Despite scoring the goal that secured the title in 2017 the Belgian has been unable to convince Chelsea management that he deserves regular opportunities at Stamford Bridge.
Mixed loan spells may not inspire much confidence but the departure of Gonzalo Higuain creates an opportunity for Bashuayi or Abraham to push for regular game time.
Part of the Champions League winning squad in 2012, Blackman has been on a tour of lower league English football gaining experience.
The departure of Robert Green means there is a need for an English goalkeeper for the Champions League squad.
This could see Blackman back in the squad and potentially challenging for the No.2 role given the age of Willy Callabero (37)
Who do you think will come in the cold for Chelsea?
With any luck club legend Frank Lampard will be confimed as the new Chelsea manager later on today or tomorrow, fans will be hoping he convinces a fellow legend to join him.
There is a lot of excitement amongst Chelsea fans betting at Casino julkalender at the moment as media reports suggest that the announcement of Frank Lampard as Chelsea manager is a case of when and not it.
This would be seen as a huge win for fans who will see a hero named as manager with the best opportunity any manager will ever get to build a settled team and bring through youth talent.
The rumour mill suggests that the club’s academy players and loan army are besides themselves with excitement at the opportunity his appointment would make.
A key first task will be the recruitment of an experienced team to mould the existing squad due to the transfer ban. A good start would be securing a role for Gianfranco Zola at the club.
A legend himself he seemed to be following Sarri out of the exit door, but the naming of Lampard might be enough to convince the Italian that he should stay at Stamford Bridge.
This would be a real dream team for Chelsea fans, the clubs most technically gifted player of all time, part of the coaching staff of the club’s record goal scorer.
Despite the transfer ban it feels like Christmas.
We have a legend at the helm and the prospect of young players breaking through. There is a level of excitement and confidence coursing through fans at the moment usually reserved for defending champions.
As the speculation and rumours fly around, let’s focus on the Chelsea pedigree of the man in the spotlight
Lampard joined Chelsea in 2001 for £11m which raised eyebrows at the time as a price tag that made this a risky purchase for pre-Abramovich Chelsea.
He left a legend having won everything imaginable and becoming the clubs all-time leading scorer with 211 goals from midfield.
He will always be associated by fans to the glory years of the 00’s and the clubs first European Cup. He is more than just a player he was an icon who made our dreams come true and was a decent chap at the same time.
Terry may have been the captain and the rock in defence but Lampard was the engine, the spark that led to glory.
His story is our story
Frank Lampard Honours and Records
Premier League x 3
FA Cup x 4
League Cup x 2
Champions League x 1
Europa League x 1
All-time leading goal scorer: 211
Most PL goals in one game: 4 (v. Derby County and Aston Villa)
Most Chelsea Player of the Year wins: 3 (2004, 2005 and 2009)
Most successive PL appearances: 164
Most teams scored against in PL: 34
Most PL goals by a central midfielder:39
Whatever happens in the coming weeks, months or even years he will always be a Chelsea legend.
Chelsea fans are excited that Frank Lampard may be named our new manager but there are a few naysayers.
Here are a few reasons Frank Lampard should not be Chelsea manager debunked.
Reason #1 He’s Not Ready
He may have only managed Derby County for one season but he has exceeded expectations and almost got an unfancied side promoted.
There is actually some pedigree down the years for inexperienced managers coming good. At Chelsea Glenn Hoddle, Ruud Guillit and Gianluca Vialli kickstarted the revolution that led us where we are today.
Lampard has footballing pedigree that goes beyond a CV, there is no guarantee he will succeed but he has a good a chance as anyone.
He has also played under Jose Mourinho, Carlo Ancelotti, Guus Hiddink, Sven Goran Erikson and many more in between.
The man knows football.
Reason #2 There Are Better Candidates
No really, who is going to want to come to a club like Chelsea during a transfer ban.
Reason #3 The Chelsea Fans Will Turn On Him
There is fear that due to the way Sarri and before him have been treated that the boo boys will target him if results turn the wrong way.
This would not be the case for a legend such as Lampard. Fans are realistic we know the situation the club is in and provided he tries to get the club playing football then he will get a much more patient supporter base.
It is hard to imagine a scenario where fans unduly turn on the club’s record scorer.
Reason #4 The Club Won’t Give Him Time
With the transfer ban and a club legend returning home who has a relationship with the current owner, this is not business at usual at Chelsea.
Reports suggest that Abramovich have already promised Lampard two seasons to make his mark on the club and get results.
The transfer ban is a blessing in disguise as he will have a chance to make his mark and plan for the future.
Whilst no manager will ever have free reign, if one manager can go long term at the Bridge it is Frank Lampard
Reason #5 He Will Ruin His Legacy
He is the club’s record goalscorer who has won the lot.
Even a horrific time at the club will not diminish his legacy as one of the greatest players to ever pull on the shirt.
This is such a weak argument that deserves little consideration.
Danny Drinkwater is an England international that has won the Premier League but he has chosen to drift into obscurity rather than kickstart his career
The £35m move from Leicester has been a disaster for his career.
He has played just 30 minutes in the 2018/2019 season and has made just 23 appearances in his two years.
So low has his stock fallen Chelsea named a substitute less in the Europa League Final than have Drinkwater on the bench.
What is interesting is he has declined to take the hint and make a loan or permanent move away. Sarri even went as far to tell him he would not play back in August and he chose to stay at Stamford Bridge.
Staying at the club to big up the massive paycheque (who can blame him) and shunning a move away whilst making questionable personal choices makes him a candidate to be the modern embodiment of Winston Bogarde.
Bogarde famously trained with the youth team and flew in from Holland a few times a week to pick up his £40k p/w contract in the early 2000s, after a change in manager saw him thrown aside months after his signing.
He spent years running down his contract, refusing to go out on loan or reduce his contract. His bizarre situation became a running joke among fans.
He like Drinkwater joined the club with a good reputation and a winning pedigree. Bogarde joined from Barcelona and had won the Champions League and titles in Holland and Spain.
Once his contract finally expired he promptly retired.
Danny Drinkwater The New Winston Bogarde
Drinkwater still has some football left in him, although it is unlikely this will be at Chelsea. He has a contract until 2022 worth £100k per week so the options for permanent sale seem limited.
Hopefully, he will either be reintegrated into the team or choose to earn his contract out on loan.
Something that would at least reduce the wage bill, even if the club will not recoup any of the transfer fee.
That is of course unless a new manager comes in and sees the player that was at Leicester and decides he has a future at the club.
If he stays at Chelsea this summer without a nod from the new manager he will be entering Winston Bogarde territory.
In dark and scary parts of the internet click hungry trolls have been speculating that a certain Spanish manager may return to Stamford Bridge
With his contract at Newcastle due to expire and no word on whether he will sign a new one bored media have been connecting the dots.
Suggesting that Rafa Benitez may shun the adoring Geordies and return to Stamford Bridge where he was met with open hostility for the majority of his time.
This is all assuming that the rumour that Sarri is bound for Juventus is true and the board will favour experience over the romance of bringing Frank Lampard home.
The rumour appears to be the ultimate troll, even the thought of it is enough to send some Chelsea fans into a rage. It is already a bizarre and regretful part of our history that he managed the club at all.
Some may point to the Europa League and Champions League qualification but he doesn’t like the club or it’s fans. I have no idea why he joined the first time around and it would make even less sense to repeat.
It is not panic stations mid-season, we have a little time to think and should Sarri leave find an alternative.
Our record with managers is poor and there is the transfer ban to contend with but I have to think there are other options available to the club. If this is being genuinely considered then the board need to get their heads checked.
I think I could name a hundred different managers I would prefer and a preference list would probably see whoever is wearing the Stamford the Lion costume ranked higher than Rafa.
Silly season is well and truly here and normally I enjoy the crazy rumours and speculation but this is a bridge too far.
Although I do have to congratulate whoever in Italy created the rumour as it has been picked up by the UK tabloids and wound up quite a few Chelsea fans.
The transfer ban, Eden Hazard and potential managerial changes make it an interesting transfer window for Chelsea.
Chelsea fluked their way to third in the league and remained consistent in Europe to lift the Europa League in Baku both of which would have qualified the club for the Champions League and the associated riches.
Traditionally qualifying for the Champions League would have Chelsea fans plotting and speculating on who could be heading to Stamford Bridge.
Instead Blues fans and the board will have no new signings to look for and a need to look within for reinforcements for the upcoming season. There are lots of unresolved issues and decisions to be made in what will still be a busy summer.
Future of Sarri
It looks increasingly likely that Maurico Sarri will not be managing the club at the start of next season. Opting to join Juventus rather than face down a year of uncertainty given his perceived unpopularity with fans.
A new manager represents a fresh opportunity for players frozen out or not at the club during the Sarri era. This could convince Christiansen to stay or lead to the revival of Kurt Zouma’s Chelsea career. Zouma is just one of a host of loanees to have tasted the first team in the past that may be in line for an increased role.
The Europa League Final saw Eden Hazard all but confirm his departure from the club. Whilst the arrival of Christian Pusilic will help he will have huge boots to fill.
How Chelsea approach this will be a huge challenge for whoever manages the team at the beginning of August.
Higuain and Kovacic
Chelsea have the option to buy two players that were on loan at the club last season without breaching the transfer ban. The problem is that Higuain did not fully settle in and Kovacic had an inconsistent season.
So whilst the board will have a decision to make on their futures, many Blues fans will be hoping they return to their parent clubs.
Which Loan Players Will Return?
Chelsea sent 41 players out on loan last season and the transfer ban could see some of them given a chance to impress.
This will be a bonuscode for those like Tammy Abraham and Mason Mount who may find themselves retained when otherwise the club would have looked to recruit in their positions.
Notable loanees that the club might decide to keep include Kurt Zouma, Victor Moses, Tammy Abraham, Bakayoko, Marco Van Ginkel and Mason Mount.
Given the factors in play I think the key strategy for 2019 should be keeping hold of as key players as possible with the exception of Higuain and Kovacic.
The transfer ban should be seen as an opportunity rather than a weakness, whoever is in charge should have the tools for a decent season if the right decisions are made.