While Chelsea might have travelled to Goodison Park on Saturday night enjoying a 16-match unbeaten run across all competitions and also booking their spot in the knockout stage of this year’s Champions League, the Blues came crashing back down to earth on Merseyside.
Although Frank Lampard’s side might have seen the likes of Tottenham, Liverpool and Manchester City all drop points, the Londoners were hit with a 1-0 defeat on the road and it is no secret that the former England midfielder is still looking to strengthen his squad.
Despite breaking the bank over the summer, Chelsea are still consistently linked with a move for West Ham’s Declan Rice and their activity in the January transfer window could be down to who heads in the other direction.
Looking to cut their bumper wage bill, we have taken a look at few stars who Lampard could be looking to force out of Stamford Bridge when the window reopens.
While Antonio Rüdiger might have managed to somewhat play his way back into Lampard’s plans after featuring in back-to-back Champions League contests earlier in the month, the German international has freefallen down Chelsea’s pecking order.
Heavily linked with a move away from Stamford Bridge in the final days of the summer transfer
window, the 27-year-old has been vocal about his lack of playing time and his fortunes haven’t really changed since starting the 2020/2021 campaign.
In desperate need of regular first-team action if he is to book a ticket to next year’s delayed European Championships, Rüdiger has only made a single Premier League appearance so far this season.
Watching summer arrival Thiago Silva strike up a blossoming relationship with an improving Kurt Zouma, it is no surprise that Chelsea are keen to get Rüdiger’s reported £100,000-per-week contract off their wage bill.
Although Kepa Arrizabalaga might have opened the new campaign briefly occupying Chelsea’s number one jersey, it was no secret to many around Stamford Bridge that Lampard was desperate to bring in a new shot-stopper.
Despite securing a staggering £72million move to West London from Athletic Bilbao back in August 2018, the 26-year-old has drastically failed to live up to that hefty price tag and was widely criticised by fans and pundits alike.
Watching Rennes keeper Edouard Mendy come in and really hit the ground running, Kepa’s days in the capital appear to be numbered and the Chelsea hierarchy see their former number one as a real chance to slash their wage bill.
Although Lampard might have announced last week that he has “no pressure” to sell Kepa, the former Bilbao shot-stopper is sat on a £150,000-per-week deal at Stamford Bridge and is one of their biggest earners.
Although Marcos Alonso might have just about managed to hang onto his spot as Chelsea’s number one choice left-back last season, the 29-year-old’s performances gained a string of criticism and Lampard made it clear a new full-back was a major priority over the summer.
Bringing in England international Ben Chilwell from Leicester, the Spanish defender has made just three Premier League appearances so far this season and has often not even made the Blues’ matchday squad.
Last seen getting hauled off at half-time in Chelsea’s 3-3 draw away at West Brom back in September, it has been reported that Lampard’s side have made it clear they’re willing to part ways with Alonso when the window reopens.
Looking to kickstart his career elsewhere, it was reported by The Daily Mail last month that Crystal Palace have eyed up the 29-year-old as a potential candidate to replace an out-of-contract Patrick van Aanholt.