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Will Chelsea live to rue missed opportunities in the January window?

On December 6th 2019, the Court of Arbitration lifted Chelsea Football Club’s transfer ban enabling them to sign players again during the 2020 January window.

Despite continued links to experienced strikers, such as Dries Mertens and Edinson Cavani, the Blues were unable to get any deals across the line as they searched for attacking reinforcements to provide competition to Tammy Abraham.

As a result, we’re going to consider whether Frank Lampard and Chelsea will ultimately miss out on securing a top-four spot having failed to add to their ranks in January.

Current Squad

At the time of writing, Chelsea currently find themselves sat in fourth place in the Premier League table.

While they are eight points behind third-placed Leicester City, the Blues are now just four points ahead of Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham side following their home win against Manchester City at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

After a strong start to the season with their youthful side, Lampard’s team have won just one of their previous five matches in the top flight.

Outside of Abraham, Chelsea have struggled for consistent goals since the beginning of the season.

The 22-year-old has 13 Premier League goals to his name, but the next highest are Christian Pulisic and Mason Mount who have both found the net on five occasions.

Regarding their other striking options, Michy Batshuayi has one goal in 14 substitute appearances, while Olivier Giroud has yet to score in the league this campaign.

As of February 3rd, the Blues are 4/9 with Premier League betting to finish the season in a Champions League spot, despite their lack of offensive options and recent poor form.  

Fighting on All Fronts with Limited Options

Following the conclusion of the January window, Chelsea are still fighting on all fronts.

Along with there being fierce competition for the top four from Tottenham, Sheffield United, Manchester United and Wolves, Lampard’s team are still in the FA Cup and have a highly-anticipated Champions League round of 16 clash against Bayern Munich on the horizon.

With such crucial fixtures still to come, the addition of a proven top-class striker would have heightened Chelsea’s chances of success both domestically and on the European stage.

Moreover, in addition to scoring goals, capturing someone of the pedigree of Cavani would have, by his own admission, been beneficial to Abraham, who revealed that he wanted to learn from a world-class striker.

While there are still many games to play, and with Abraham establishing himself as Chelsea’s main forward, supporters will be hoping that he doesn’t pick up an injury during the upcoming busy period following their inability to add to their ranks.

Although Giroud has established himself as more than capable in the Premier League, it’s somewhat apparent that he doesn’t suit the style that Lampard is looking to implement, especially given that he was previously open to the idea of letting the Frenchman go.

Will Standing Still Prove Costly?

After seeing their rivals make additions in the form of Bruno Fernandes and Steven Bergwijn, Chelsea’s 41-year-old head coach now fears that his side are the underdogs to secure a top-four finish.

While, at this stage, it’s impossible to say whether their lack of transfer activity will come back to haunt them, there can be no doubts that the London-based club needed attacking reinforcements to support Abraham.

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