Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich backed £200m spending spree because of one person

Gary Neville believes Chelsea’s £200million spending spree was sparked by owner Roman Abramovich being invigorated by manager Frank Lampard.

After 13 years as a player for the Blues, Lampard was handed the chance to lead the club by Abramovich last season.

Lampard arrived with a transfer ban hanging over the club but adapted by integrating several young players to the squad.

And the plan was a success as Chelsea were able to qualify for the Champions League with a fourth-place image.

With the ban on new players complete, Chelsea have been made to flex their financial strength this summer and six signings have been made.

Hakim Ziyech, Timo Werner, Kai Havertz, Thiago Silva, Malang Sarr and Ben Chilwell have all arrived and considerably lifted the quality of the squad.

More signings are still be plotted and several players could depart before the transfer window closes.

It all means the pressure will be on Lampard to improve Chelsea enough to close the gap on Liverpool and Manchester City while building a gap to Manchester United, Arsenal and Tottenham.

For many years Abramovich has wanted to create an attack-minded team at Stamford Bridge.

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And Neville believes Lampard’s work has been the catalyst for Abramovich rediscovering his love for the club.

“Chelsea’s interesting because Roman Abramovich has wanted for 15 years a flamboyant team, and every time he’s gone for the flamboyant managers to try and get the flamboyant team, he’s been pulled back to that more methodical type of approach that’s been successful for the club,” Neville told Sky Sports.

“I think this year he’s probably investing, partly because of Covid and he sees an opportunity to exploit the market.

“But I think because what Frank Lampard has done has invigorated him.

“The academy players finally coming through, the emergence of Christian Pulisic and other young players, a team that plays a different way, that’s more energetic and really good to watch.

“More inconsistent, less reliable, you always get that when you are trying to go with younger players and a different style, but I think that’s what he wants.

“He wants excitement, he wants thrill around Chelsea and that’s why he’s invested this summer, to go again at this moment because he sees a team that’s got something he’s always wanted.”

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