Frank Lampard wants Chelsea to follow new transfer strategy as they attempt to challenge Liverpool

Frank Lampard has highlighted greater intelligence in recruitment as one factor that can help Chelsea make up ground on Liverpool and Manchester City, but concedes the coronavirus crisis has complicated transfer planning.

The Stamford Bridge side, fourth in the standings, are 34 points adrift of Jurgen Klopp’s league leaders and nine behind the defending champions, who posted a staggering 198 haul in the previous two campaigns.

While assessing his debut season in charge of Chelsea, which included a transfer ban for last summer’s window and contemplating how he could reduce the distance to the top two, Lampard insisted the club would have to follow their own template.

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“I don’t want to jump the gun because what Liverpool and Manchester City have done has been clear; I’d be a fool to suggest we can bridge that gap quickly because there has been a lot of hard work at those clubs in terms of recruitment of top players, of great coaches,” he told The Football Show.

“We have to be part of that process. We have to do it our way, we can’t try to copy.

“We have had experienced players around this year to help the youngsters but we know there are little areas within the squad… some of that’s what we have on the ground here already, some of that is how we might look to recruit.

“What’s going on in the world has made it very difficult to plan on that front. But going into this break I certainly felt we were moving in the right direction and with continued progress and work on the training ground, as well as potentially bringing in some players in key areas to try and help us bridge that gap, yes, I’ve got a strong belief that we can [challenge].”

Lampard is satisfied with Chelsea’s development under his guidance thus far, but is using the suspension of football due to the Covid-19 pandemic to plot further progress.

“I’m always the first to criticise myself and look at what we could have done better,” he said.

“I’m pretty happy with where we are in fourth. It was always going to be a difficult, competitive year for us to be in and around that top four and we’re there at the moment.

“How can we progress from here? We have youth; we’ve been searching at times for consistency, which I think can happen with a young team. I’m pretty happy with where we’re at but I want a lot more. As a manager, you’re never ready to settle.

“This situation has given us time for reflection but you do miss that day-to-day feeling of being with staff and players. I’ve tried to use some time to reflect and start planning and looking forward. As a manager, a lot of that preparation time is a big part of what we do; as a player, I’m sure they’re champing at the bit.”

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