One of the biggest problems that has plagued Chelsea managers over the last few seasons is their lack of control over the team’s roster. This has created issues year in and year out as the Blues’ roster has largely been composed of players signed by four or five different coaches over the span of the last decade. Right now, players who were signed under Roberto Di Matteo, Jose Mourinho, Antonio Conte, Maurizio Sarri, Frank Lampard and Thomas Tuchel all reside within the club’s ranks. This makes it difficult for Tuchel to get the team to buy into his style of play.
Todd Boehly’s purchasing of Chelsea earlier this year seems like the perfect opportunity to say goodbye to these undesirable—it sounds harsh, but it’s for lack of a better term—players for good. After all, it’s not the American who will be taking a financial loss on these individuals. However, the Blues have struggled immensely to get these reserves off their books due to the high wages they’re currently on. Luckily for Tuchel, his predecessor may come in clutch as Everton looks to purchase a couple of current Chelsea wantaways.
It is now being reported that Lampard is interested in bringing three of his former players to Goodison Park. Ross Barkley and Michy Batshuayi are the two names being most heavily linked with the Toffees. Lampard would also love to add midfielder Billy Gilmour to his squad, but the chances of a reunion there are yet to be seen. The Scot got some minutes for Chelsea against Udinese on Friday evening, whereas the other two remained in London for reasons unknown.
It’s highly unlikely that either Barkley or Batshuayi has a place in the Blues’ squad—in any capacity at all—going forward. The former, who is likeliest to return to his boyhood club this summer, spent last season with Chelsea but managed only 14 appearances in all competitions. On the other hand, Batshuayi has fallen into the loan abyss after scoring the goal that clinched the 2016/17 Premier League title for Conte’s side. He’s been loaned out a whopping five times since 2018 and he has failed to really settle into any temporary role in that span.
Permanent moves away from SW6 would greatly benefit both players. While they’ve left their respective marks on Chelsea history, neither has a future at the club. If Lampard feels as if they can do a job for Everton, it’d be fantastic to see them both get their careers back on track after it didn’t work out for them at Stamford Bridge.
It would also be a huge relief to the Blues. As things stand, they’re each reportedly on around £90,000 per week wages, costing Chelsea about £10 million per year. Removing them from the equation would obviously free up a lot of space on the Blues’ wage bill, but that’s not all. Barkley and Batshuayi’s outgoing transfers would declutter Chelsea’s overall squad. This would allow for the Blues to give more minutes to youth players throughout the season, which is a huge talking point amongst supporters. Lastly, their sales would allow the club to recoup some of the money it paid for the duo under Conte, even though they wouldn’t command a huge fee.
These moves are for the best of all involved parties when everything is said and done. It’d be foolish for Chelsea to allow Barkley and Batshuayi to hang around for one more season and eat wages. It’d be even more silly to extend their contracts by another year while pursuing one-year loan deals. Ties need to be cut and quickly before Tuchel is forced to take a bloated squad into the 2022/23 Premier League season. As for Gilmour, time will tell what the future holds for the young midfielder as he prepares to talk with the gaffer about his status within the team.
Would you like to see either of these players move to Goodison Park on a permanent basis? Let us know your thoughts in the comments or on Twitter!