The 2020/21 Premier League season is around the corner and for Chelsea, this season could be a legacy maker and not just for Frank Lampard. Because the Blues have spent a lot of money creating what is arguably 'the' team capable of challenging the best and now they need to challenge the best.
How well did Chelsea do in the 2019/20 Premier League season?
For a team shackled with a transfer ban, the loss of Eden Hazard and the integration of their bountiful youth academy by Frank Lampard in his debut Premier League season as manager, few expected anything. But Chelsea not only shocked, they also awed the world as the Blues finished fourth in the Premier League ahead of Arsenal, Tottenham and even Leicester City. They managed to win 20 games, draw 6 and lose 12 with the latter tally hurting their status amongst the top four sides.
Their numbers, however, weren’t the greatest as offensively, they finished as the league’s third-highest goals scorer (69), had the third-highest xG per 90 (1.75), the fourth-best assists per 90 minutes (1.21), the second-highest key passes completed (453), the third most touches overall (29171), and the third-best non-penalty xG or npxG (61.8). We all know just how badly the Blues performed defensive in arguably one of their worst seasons, at that particular end, since they became a superpower in England.
They conceded the most goals (54) amongst the top ten sides this season and combined that with fifth best PSxG (Post-Shot Expected Goals) (41.0), the third-fewest errors leading to a goal (9), the fourth-best successful pressure percentage (30.9%), committed the eight least fouls (386), had the ninth worst clean sheet percentage (23.7%) and did that while averaging the third-best points per game (1.74).
However, since this is Chelsea, we have decided to shine the spot-light on the way their goalkeeper(s) performed this season. This is an area of concern for the Blues as they had the worst save percentage (shots on target against vs goals against) at 54.8%. That’s worse than Norwich City, Bournemouth and Watford with the Blues also averaging 1.42 goals conceded per 90. Chelsea’s PSxG +/- was a -10.0 for the 2019/20 season, and a higher number suggests better luck or an above-average ability to save shots. They finished dead last with Arsenal leading the pack (+10.5) and Manchester City sitting just below the mid-way mark with a -0.6 rating.
Improvements they’ve made so far:
They’ve done it all and spent all the money they earned from selling Alvaro Morata and Eden Hazard last summer aka more than €200 million. The Blues needed offensive reinforcements; they brought in Timo Werner, Hakim Ziyech and signed Kai Havertz because it was a chance too good to pass. The Blues needed defensive reinforcements; they’ve brought in Thiago Silva and Ben Chilwell. They needed competition/backup for Kepa Arrizabalaga and Edouard Mendy is set to walk in to hand them just that.
Victor Moses, Michy Batshuayi, Danny Drinkwater, Tiemoue Bakayoko and a few others are all on their way out which will pave the way to more reinforcements for Frank Lampard. Combine that with a potential €60 odd million move for N'Golo Kante, and Chelsea have just above €150 million in spending cash to splurge even more on this team. Imagine the prospect of that team but even now, this window is arguably one of the best the Premier League has ever seen. It's the summer window that most managers can only dream of.
That Barcelona, Tottenham, and a catalogue of other clubs would kill to have. Because in one fell swoop they’ve transformed their side into a title contender, provided it all gels together. Combine all their incoming moves with the success of last season, aka youngsters from the academy, and you’ve got a squad filled with depth, experience and the right amount of talent to thrive. A masterclass in how to transform your squad from Roman Abramovich, Marina Granovskaia, Petr Cech and Frank Lampard.
How well could Chelsea do in the 2020/21 Premier League season?
The ceiling is practically anything for Chelsea and it's completely dependent on how the team reacts to this. Well, that’s barring first and second place but even that might not be out of the question if this team gels together in time. That’s the problem, the team chemistry and how it could be affected with so many new arrivals, six (potentially seven), but if Super Frankie and his coaching staff manages to sort that problem, then the sky is the limit.
Their floor, however, is the larger problem. Because given how Chelsea can perform at their best, this team is equally terrifying, to watch as a fan, at their worst. Their defense is far from perfect even with Thiago Silva and Ben Chilwell in it, their goalkeeper is a bundle of mistakes waiting to happen and his confidence looks shot which does play a part. But even then, barring a serious chaotic situation, their worst could be fifth in the league, maybe sixth.