Mateo Kovacic (mid) Real Madrid – loan made permanent; Christian Pulisic (mid) Borussia Dortmund – end of loan; Kourt Zouma (def) Everton – end of loan; Kenneth Omeruo (def) Leganes – end of loan; Abdul Baba (def) Reims – end of loan; Tiemoue Bakayoko (mid) Milan – end of loan; Mason Mount (mid) Derby – end of loan; Danilo Pantic (mid) Partizan – end of loan; Lucas Piazon (mid) Cheivo – end of loan; Kenedy (mid) Newcastle – end of loan; Tammy Abraham (att) Aston Villa – end of loan; Michy Batshuayi (att) Crystal Palace – end of loan;
Eden Hazard (k) (att) Real Madrid; Gonzalo Higuain (r) (att) Juventus – end of loan; Eduardo (gk) Braga; Ola Aina (def) Torino – loan made permanent; Tomas Kalas (def) Bristol City – loan made permanent; Matt Miazga (def) Reading – on loan; Ethan Ampadu (def) RB Leipzig – on loan; Lewis Baker (mid) Fortuna Dusseldorf – on loan; Robert Green (gk) released; Garry Cahill (def) released; Todd Kane (def) released;
Chelsea had a solid first campaign under Sarri – finished in top 4 in the Premier League, reached league Cup final and won Europa League – but there were issues with the managerial style of the Italian, and in the summer he was released.
With Chelsea failing to overturn their one-year transfer ban, unable to sign new players until summer of 2020, a top class manager was impossible to be recruited and club legend Frank Lampard was given the job.
Left with no other choice, Lampard will have to work with the army of loanees and youngsters in order to provide depth and rotation options as the season progresses. At least Kovacic’s loan was allowed to be made a permanent move, plus Pulisic finally arrives after being signed for a large fee in January.
Without a doubt the major loss of the summer was the inevitable departure of Eden Hazard, with Chelsea hugely reliant on the Belgian for some years now and expected to struggle in hard situations without him.
So far based on pre-season, Lampard shows no fear in using many of the younger players and this might be a transition year for Chelsea with many of the youngsters given a chance so it is seen which of them have a long-term future at the club.
Still the Board expects Champions League qualification, and even a legend like Lampard must not feel safe at a job that has proven hard to keep in the past, even for coaches who were very successful in their short spells in charge.
Finish in the top 4 will be seen as solid achievement, but whether it will be possible is yet to be seen.