Frank Lampard is said to be planning a ‘major cull’ at Chelsea with a whole host of senior players all at risk ahead of a summer rebuild at Stamford Bridge.
The club’s chastening 3-0 defeat at home to Bayern Munich this week highlighted the significant distance between the west London side and Europe’s elite, with Lampard now prepared to make major changes after what he has seen so far this season.
Chelsea have enjoyed mixed results during Lampard’s debut season at the helm but the Blues’ boss is aware of the capabilities of his squad, their limitations being horribly exposed as the Bundesliga champions ran riot in midweek.
According to the Sun, Lampard is now prepared to axe several of his under-performing stars, with Barkley, Kepa and Jorginho amongst the high-profile names who could be heading towards a summer exit.
England international Barkley has failed to hit the heights once expected upon his emergence as a youngster at Everton, the midfielder failing to kick on since a move to Chelsea and looking out of his depth against Bayern’s midfield metronome Thiago Alcantara.
Kepa – the world’s most expensive goalkeeper when moving to the Premier League in a £71.6m deal from Athletic Bilbao – is also at risk following a series of below-par showings and has been dropped in recent weeks with veteran Willy Caballero preferred in goal; the article suggesting a potential swap deal for Atletico’s Jan Oblak could be in the offing.
Left-back duo Marcos Alonso and Emerson are both likely to depart, whilst the futures of Kurt Zouma, Pedro and Willian are also in doubt as we head towards the final stages of the season.
Perhaps a surprising name at risk is believed to be Jorginho, the midfielder having starred during the early weeks of the season but struggling to exert influence over recent fixtures. The Italian international remains talented and when on-song can dictate play, though question marks remain over his mobility at the very highest level.
Lampard has already begun his rebuild with the capture of Ajax star Hakim Ziyech, the Moroccan international joining in a deal worth a reported £33m and becoming the Chelsea manager’s first signing. England duo Ben Chilwell and Jadon Sancho also remain reported targets, the club’s Bayern battering accelerating Lampard’s need and desire to make wholesale changes.
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