Tag Archives: Hakim Ziyech

Callum Hudson-Odoi Deserves a Chance To Shine For Chelsea

Chelsea fell to a third defeat in four games in their clash against Arsenal on Boxing Day, with the Gunners landing only their second Premier League win in 11 games.

Goals from Alexandre Lacazette, Granit Xhaka and Bukayo Saka saw Mikel Arteta’s side cruising at the Emirates Stadium. Tammy Abraham scored a late consolation goal, thanks to the creativity of Callum Hudson-Odoi on the wing but ultimately it proved too little too late.

With Hakim Ziyech out injured and Kai Havertz horribly out of form, Lampard has continued to use German forward Timo Werner on the wing instead of in his preferred striker role. This means that Hudson-Odoi has often found himself on the bench and is once again being linked with a move away from the club.

But after coming on for Werner at half-time, the 20-year-old has proven that he has plenty to offer Lampard’s side in attack and is absolutely deserving of a chance to shine more regularly.

‘CHO’ started the second half on the right wing and with his first set of touches he beat his marker and whipped in a lovely cross for Abraham. The rest of the half essentially consisted of getting the ball to him and Reece James to whip crosses in, although for some odd reason Lampard never brought on Olivier Giroud from the bench.

A quick counter attack late on saw CHO once again beat his marker with skill before smashing a ball across the box for Abraham to tap in.

His directness, speed, technical skills and ability to play equally well on both wings is something that Chelsea don’t currently possess. Hakim Ziyech plays primarily from the right, using his wand of a left foot while Christian Pulisic has shown in recent weeks that he’s far more comfortable and effective from the left.

With the January window approaching, Hudson-Odoi’s chance has to come now. Chelsea have injuries, are struggling going forward and he is affecting games from the bench.

If Lampard continues to not give him the chance, there’s no better time to leave for pastures anew than immediately.


Kai Havertz Close To Chelsea Move

Chelsea are close to agreeing a deal to bring Kai Havertz to Stamford Bridge this summer, according to several reports.

The German international is in high demand across Europe after scoring 20+ goals in each of the last two campaigns, with Liverpool, Man Utd, Bayern Munich, Barcelona all competing with the Blues for his signature.

According to various reports, Chelsea are close to sealing the deal with the player’s club as they’re the only ones willing to go near his asking price.

Leverkusen missed out on Champions League football for next season and the player has made his desire to leave clear to the higher ups at the club. They have publicly said that they have an agreement with Havertz that they will let him leave for a specific fee. That fee is believed to be between €80-90million and while Chelsea aren’t quite willing to go that high, they’re the closest.

New Chelsea Signing Hakim Ziyech Visits the Chelsea Training Ground : News Photo
Hakim Ziyech has already started training with Chelsea ahead of his debut next season

The player will added further firepower to a squad that has struggled for consistent goals this season, with Havertz joining Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech as confirmed signings. Tammy Abraham started well but has fallen flat since the turn of the year and been replaced by Olivier Giroud now, who despite signing a new deal is still likely to leave in the summer for more regular football.

Havertz would do more than just add firepower to the attack though, he would be a real statement signing by manager Frank Lampard. After the club were given a transfer ban and sold Eden Hazard prior to his arrival at the club, Lampard had to make do with what he had at the club and opted to promote youth into the squad. The development of Mason Mount, Reece James, Billy Gilmour and Abraham has been the highlight of the season and since he has now made a FA Cup final, he has earned the trust of his bosses and fans.

Adding some star dust to a side that will likely finish 3rd in the league will mean they close the gap on Liverpool and Man City but they must now focus on boosting a defence that has been leaky all season. They have been linked to Declan Rice and Nathan Ake, although the latter now looks set to join Manchester City.

Chelsea are preparing for the new season before the current one is over and they are wasting no time in showing the world that they plan on being a big problem in 2021.

Chelsea Would Be Crazy To Cave To Willian Demands

As the Premier League season enters it’s final week, attention starts to shift to the future of players at their clubs.

We’ve already seen several players leave, when their contracts expired on June 30th despite the season continuing well past that date. But now the players who did agree to extend their contract for the extra month of play are back at a crossroads once again with their clubs.

One of those players, and arguably the most high profile case, is Willian at Chelsea.

The Brazilian winger was signed for £30million back in 2013 and has been a regular in the team ever since under several managers. That has continued under Frank Lampard this season but now 32 years old, he’s approaching the twilight of his career.

That has left Chelsea with a dilemma. They have reportedly made an offer to Willian to extend his contract by two-years, with the expectation that he will begin to be fazed out of the starting line-up thanks to the signing of Hakim Ziyech and emergence of Callum Hudson-Odoi. According to several reports though, Willian has made it clear that he won’t extend for anything less than a three-year deal.

Some have looked at these demands as reasonable. The player has shown great loyalty over the years, staying at Stamford Bridge when the Blues dropped out of Europe and reportedly rejecting interest from the likes of Barcelona. He extended his contract for the post-lockdown period to help the club and has performed admirably since. Wanting an extra year on a new deal that will likely see him through to retirement, or very close to, isn’t the craziest of demands.

Chelsea Training Session : News Photo

But Chelsea would be crazy to give in to those demands. Considering the fact the club have let it get to this point to begin with, they obviously aren’t keen on keeping him around for too much longer. With Pedro already confirmed to be joining Roma at the end of his contract, Willian could follow him out of the door and Chelsea would still be covered in those positions. The signings of Ziyech and Timo Werner, plus the growing presence of Christian Pulisic in the side along with Hudson-Odoi mean they have plenty of depth. They’re also reportedly the keenest of many sides in Europe for attacking midfielder Kai Havertz.

Willian is one of Chelsea’s highest earners and he’s unlikely to be taking a pay-cut to stay at the club to not play much. Logic would tell me he’ll be on very similar terms to what he is on currently and for three years that would definitely prove excessive considering how his standing in the squad will change.

His experience would however prove a big help for a Blues side being influxed with young talent, and his mentality from winning several trophies would of course be a positive influence. But eventually, he’ll want to play. Lampard would either have to deal with an unhappy player on huge amounts of money at the club, or be forced to play him when he doesn’t really want to.

Overall, if Willian isn’t willing to agree to Chelsea’s terms they should let him go. Don’t fold to his demands and let him get the big payday he wants elsewhere. The likelihood is that he won’t hurt them too much if he was to stay in England, while going abroad would see him out of the way for Chelsea anyway.

Timo Werner to Chelsea – Enough for a Title Push?

News broke earlier this week that long-time Liverpool target Timo Werner was on his way to the Premier League this summer – but he’ll be wearing Chelsea blue!

The German forward has been linked with Jurgen Klopp’s men for the best part of a year, with his release clause seen as the perfect way for Liverpool to upgrade their forward line without breaking the bank. However, due to the current Covid-19 pandemic sweeping the world, the Anfield side have decided to take a step back from transfer negotiations this summer.

According to Bleacher Report, this meant that Werner was due to stay at RB Leipzig for another year in order to wait for his dream move – until Chelsea stepped in.

The Blues swept in with an offer to trigger the 24 year-old’s release clause and after the club agreed to pay him circa £200k p/w plus a conversation with Frank Lampard, Werner agreed to move to Stamford Bridge instead. With Hakim Ziyech already signed up for the new season too, Chelsea have a brand new frontline to compete for the Premier League title.

How will they all fit in though? Lampard has seemingly preferred a 4-2-3-1 formation this season, with Willian, Mason Mount and Tammy Abraham featuring alongside one of Christian Pulisic, Ross Barkley, Callum Hudson-Odoi or Pedro.

Willian is expected to leave on a free transfer at the end of the current campaign, while Pedro is expected to move to Roma when his contract expires. Ross Barkley has been hit and miss, while Pulisic and Hudson-Odoi have both struggled for consistent performances under Lampard. Ziyech seems like a lock for his traditional right-wing position, as a direct replacement for Willian. Mount has performed relatively well as the #10 too, chipping in with 6 goals and 4 assists in the league.

Lampard put all his faith in Tammy Abraham at the start of the season, handing the academy graduate the No.9 shirt. The Camberwell-born front man has repaid that faith, with 13 goals in 25 appearances in the Premier League including goals away at Arsenal and a hat-trick at Wolves.

That begs the question, does Super Frank stick or twist?

Twitter respond to criticism after Chelsea striker Tammy Abraham ...
With Euro 2020 coming next summer, will Abraham play enough to get into the England squad? Image Credit: Independent

Werner’s record in Germany is second only to Robert Lewandowski in the last two seasons, while Ziyech also poses a fantastic goal threat.

Chelsea do have a way of getting all three into the team. Timo Werner has spent plenty of time playing out on the left wing, cutting in onto his right foot and looking to find the far corner. By playing him on the left, Chelsea would have their three premier goal threats in the XI together.

Another option is to make the big call and drop someone. Lampard was quoted after the 2-2 draw with Bournemouth that “poor finishing” was a big reason that Chelsea are in a battle for fourth. Bringing in a shiny new centre-forward could be his way of rectifying that problem by replacing Abraham directly. This would allow Hudson-Odoi or Pulisic to continue competing for the winger role and have two goal scorers competing with each other with only one position available.

They could also balance the side out more by switching to a 4-3-3, something Lampard has done a few times.

Lots of Chelsea fans would rather Mount played as a central midfielder with the freedom to roam forward rather than starting in a more advanced area. It would also mean that fit-again Ruben Loftus-Cheek would have his best position available for him to compete for. With N’Golo Kante beginning to suffer from more and more injuries, while Jorginho is reportedly not the indispensable member of the squad he once was, there is more freedom for Chelsea to play around with.

Mateo Kovacic is surely a lock with many believing him to be Chelsea’s player of the year this season. With Kante, Jorginho, Barkley, Mount, Loftus-Cheek and newly promoted Billy Gilmour all competing for the final two spots in Chelsea’s midfield the likelihood of one of them being allowed to leave is high.

It may be that once we see who leaves, the ideas become clearer for all to see. One thing is for sure though, Chelsea’s bench will be filled with more quality than last year and their starting team will be looking to close the gap between Liverpool and the rest of the division.