Chelsea legend Frank Lampard believes the club need to invest in another striker when the January transfer window opens to strengthen their hunt for more silverware this season.
The Blues broke their transfer record to bring Alvaro Morata to the club during the summer with the former Real Madrid striker thriving at Stamford Bridge, scoring nine goals in his first 17 appearances for the club.
Antonio Conte was keen to bring in another striker to follow Morata’s arrival, with Chelsea coming close to sealing a deal for Fernando Llorente before Tottenham Hotspur swooped and acquired the Spaniard ahead of their London rivals.
Michy Batshuayi, who had been expected to leave west London on loan in the summer, is Conte’s only other natural centre forward option. While the Belgian has come off the bench twice to score winners against Atletico Madrid and Watford this season, his manager’s decision to seek an alternative in Llorente during the summer suggests the former Marseille striker isn’t part of his long-term plans.
Chelsea eased to a 4-0 win over Qarabag without starting a centre forward as they booked their place in the Champions League knock-out stages on Wednesday [22 November], with Eden Hazard deployed as a false nine.
But former midfield star Lampard believes there is still a lack of depth up front despite the £70m arrival of Morata that must be addressed in January. Lampard told BT Sport [Goal.com]: “I think they need to add [in January]. If you are looking at Morata there, Michy Batshuayi has come in and had moments where he has scored but seemingly Conte doesn’t trust him.
“Then you have to play Hazard there and change a lot of things. So I think maybe a back-up striker.”
Chelsea spent over £200m in signing seven new players in the summer, including midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko and Danny Drinkwater from Monaco and Leicester City respectively.
Lampard believes Chelsea will look to further strengthen their midfield options but believes the club will wait until next summer to do that.
“I think they are going to have to strengthen in midfield at some point but that may be next year. But I think you have to keep strengthening because everybody else is. Manchester City are, Manchester United are, so to stay in the game you have to keep strengthening.”