Chelsea backed to spend ‘the majority of their budget’ on one player this summer
Chelsea will spend “the majority of their budget” this summer on a new striker, reckons former Blues midfielder Craig Burley. Chelsea boss Frank Lampard wanted to strengthen up top in January but failed with moves for experienced duo Edinson Cavani and Dries Mertens. Lampard wanted to add depth to his frontline and help this season’s top-scorer Tammy Abraham.
Olivier Giroud started to feature more regularly before football was suspended due to the coronavirus outbreak last month.
But Giroud is out of contract at the end of the season and may want to leave to get more guaranteed game time.
USA winger Christian Pulisic was the subject of discussion between Burley and ESPN pundit Herculez Gomez earlier this week.
And with Hakim Ziyech already set to arrive at Chelsea from Ajax for £33.6million, Burley cannot see Lampard looking to strengthen that area of the pitch again.
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He instead thinks Chelsea will prioritise a striker, which would not get in the way of Pulisic’s development.
“They’re probably going to go out and spend the majority of their budget on a striker, on an out-and-out front man,” Burley said.
“Now, they’re unlikely to go for another wide/playmaker because they’ve got a bunch of them, including Pulisic. So that’s less of a concern.
“There are other areas of the pitch they might look to strengthen – midfield, striker, maybe another centre-half.
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“They’ve got enough playmakers in my opinion. [Pulisic has] got a job on his hands like everybody else.
“He faced the same thing at [Borussia] Dortmund before he left because he had [Jadon] Sancho and [Jacob] Bruun Larsen who’d ousted him from the team.
“It’s not new for Christian Pulisic to be fighting for your place, that doesn’t mean you’re a bad player overnight.
“Yes it’s a concern when you’re not playing but I do think he showed enough and showed enough to Frank Lampard in the period that he was there that he’s going to be a big part of the Chelsea plans going forward.”
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Pulisic has scored five Premier League goals so far for Chelsea, including a hat-trick in the 4-2 win over Burnley last October.
However, he has not featured since January 1 due to a tear in the abductor muscle.
And Gomez has warned the 21-year-old he has a battle on his hands to regain his place in the Chelsea team, despite costing the club £57.6m in January 2019.
“Yes I agree that he’s going to have to fight for his place but I will say this, and this is Chelsea’s history and they’ve proven it over and over and over again – they don’t care how much they spend on you and how big you are,” Gomez said.
“Whether it’s [Romelu] Lukaku, whether it’s Kevin de Bruyne, whether it’s Mohamed Salah, you don’t have your place in the team guaranteed.
“And if you can’t swim and you sink, you are out. It doesn’t matter how much they spend.
“So yes he does have to worry.”
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