The Blues have failed to progress any talks during the transfer window thus far and their manager insists he is comfortable with the status quo
Frank Lampard is ready to compete for a spot in next season’s Champions League without any January signings if he has to, and has warned the club against ‘knee-jerk’ additions.
Chelsea were able to get FIFA’s transfer ban halved through the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), but they have struggled to make progress in any talks.
The January transfer market has been difficult for all Premier League clubs with just 12 deals completed across the league, five of which have been loans.
Despite Chelsea‘s available funds, Lampard admits that he would consider doing a short-term deal during this transfer window and is also prepared to see no business done.
“I think I should be because that’s where we’re at at the moment,” Lampard said of whether he will be happy if Chelsea don’t sign anyone. “If it feels right for us, then we’ll do it.”
Some recent last-minute January deals have not worked out well, with the likes of Alexandre Pato and Gonzalo Higuain struggling while on loan.
Lampard was careful not to be critical of business done in the past, but admitted he doesn’t want to enter the market for just anyone after a positive season so far.
“The players you mentioned there were top players. I think the idea of January being a time to buy players, it’s difficult for everybody – for players coming in, especially if they’re coming from a different league, for the club and for the settlement of the group,” the Chelsea manager added.
“I think that’s why we have to think ultra carefully and I do care and consider the club and where we’re going. I don’t want to make some knee-jerk reaction to say ‘here’s my first big signing’ because we couldn’t sign anyone in the summer.
“No, I want to do the right thing for the club. That’s why if I do it I’ll try and consider all things. It will always be in communication with the club. Hopefully, it’s the best thing for us. Whether that’s more of a short-term option or a long-term option, we’ll also have to consider.”
Chelsea now prepare to face Newcastle United on Saturday without Christian Pulisic and Marcos Alonso, while Ruben Loftus-Cheek remains on the long-term injured list. The midfielder has begun training with the Blues U16 team, however.
N’Golo Kante was held out of Chelsea’s win over Burnley last weekend and Lampard says he is unsure whether the Frenchman will return at St. James’ Park.
“Yes, he’s had a few issues through the week. When I say yes, I think it’s a decision I have to make with absolute certainty but at the minute it looks like he’s good to go.”
Ross Barkley replaced Kante after he pulled himself out of contention last weekend at the last minute due to tightness in his hamstring. The England international impressed as he returns from injury and Lampard has dismissed speculation that he will go out on loan to West Ham.
The speculation that Barkley could leave Chelsea comes amid a backdrop of two off-field incidents where he was filmed in embarrassing situations in his personal life, with the video then sold to newspapers.
Lampard says he wants his players to enjoy life and has moved on from Barkley’s misdemeanours.
“The good thing about being a boss is you don’t have to talk about all your things back in the day! Mind you, you can probably Google it,” Lampard joked about his own off-field problems as a player.
“What I will say is there are two sides to it and I read Ross’s statements.
“The first side is you should always look at yourself and I always said that about myself when I got it wrong. So look at yourself and don’t mention about anything else because society and members of the public you can’t control.
“The second side, I agree with, there are too many smartphones but that’s the second part of the argument because we are all so aware that there are a lot of smartphones so we are aware we have to change your way of living.
“How much you trust the people you are around, your friends, all these things, unfortunately, or whatever, that’s the way the world has gone.
“I think you still come back to yourself and make sure you firstly act professionally and secondly be aware of those things because you can’t control the fact that the world has changed.
“I think we went to Lille when I got asked about that, my biggest concern was not really the bag of chips it was more the fact that we were training the next day.
“That is exactly where I see it and Ross knows that and I am not one to tell my lads don’t have a bag of chips, don’t have a few beers after you win a game.
“Just make sure that when you think about the big scheme, you do it with the idea you have to train and perform at a level and as the game has moved forward and the speed and intensity of it even more so from my day, from eras gone by, the players have to be absolutely tip-top or this game will find you out.
“That’s not just a thing to Ross that is to all the players about how they live their life.”