Chelsea have been urged against spending big when their transfer ban is lifted, with former Blues star Pat Nevin claiming they can become the “best young side in Europe”.
Frank Lampard, who inherited the reins at Stamford Bridge with an embargo already in place, is set to have his hands tied in the recruitment market until the summer of 2020.
Funds are expected to be made available once the west London giants are freed to invest once more, but Nevin hopes a shift towards faith in youth will keep arrivals to a minimum.
He is looking for the club take important lessons from mistakes of the past and instead focus on bringing in “a few little jewels”, rather than supposed big-money superstars.
Nevin told the club’s official website on the back of a 1-0 Champions League win over Ajax: “Our young side have just deservedly beaten Ajax, the best young side in Europe, at their own ground and it was no fluke, Chelsea were the better team.
“If we do the double over them on 5 November, does that then make us the best young side in Europe? If it does, then should Frank take a chance on ruining that progress with a bunch of new signings?
“Why for example would you even consider buying, say, another centre-forward when Tammy Abraham has been superb and is absolutely definitely going to get even better? Well there could be a dip in form or an injury, or indeed he might just need a rest at some point.
“We have got other strikers already on the roster. Michy’s goals-to-minutes-played figures are off the scale again this season for club and country, but what club or indeed manager would turn down a world-class player if he suddenly became available?
“I hadn’t considered it at all this season, because with Chelsea lying fourth in the Premier League, who cares about next season right at this moment? Well the club has to, Frank has to and doing things at the last moment on a whim is generally not considered the best way to bring long-term success to any club. So forward planning is a given.
“I suspect there will be a bit of a war chest available to Frank by the summertime, but unlike other clubs around us, such as Manchester United and maybe even Spurs, it doesn’t look like a whole new outfit is needed, just a few little jewels added to make the whole thing sparkle even more.
“I wouldn’t be surprised however if the club takes precisely the opposite approach to previous seasons when these acquisitions are considered.
“During the ‘Roman era’, how many world-class strikers of a certain age have come to the Bridge with, it has to be a said, varying levels of success? I almost can’t imagine Frank doing that, but I can imagine the scouts being sent out around the planet to find the next hot young thing who would fit into, or more likely grow into, this group and this system.”
A midweek win in Europe means that Lampard’s exciting young squad have now collected six successive victories across all competitions and are full of confidence heading into a Premier League trip to Burnley on Saturday and a Carabao Cup fourth-round clash with Manchester United.