Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich has key belief behind £200m Frank Lampard transfer spree
Chelsea are on the cusp of continuing their lavish spending spree with the addition of £90million Bayer Leverkusen attacker Kai Havertz and owner Roman Abramovich is bank-rolling the Blues’ spree, which will have seen them spend over £200m after Havertz’s arrival, because of one key belief it has been reported.
Germany international Havertz will become Chelsea’s sixth signing of the summer once the paperwork is completed, with it thought personal terms have been agreed.
The Londoners will pay £72m upfront and have agreed to pay up to a further £18m in add-ons in order to land the 21-year-old, who has excelled in the Bundesliga in recent seasons.
He could help make up a brand new Chelsea attack with Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech having also joined this summer.
The duo have been added to with the additions of defensive tro Ben Chilwell, Malang Sarr and Thiago Silva this week, the former costing £50m with centre-backs Sarr and Silva both signed on free transfers.
Lampard could also yet sign a new first-choice goalkeeper due to concerns over Kepa Arrizabalaga between the sticks.
And The Athletic say Abramovich has been so keen to back Lampard, who secured Champions League football for 2020-21 after finishing fourth last term, because of the unique circumstances of the current market.
Clubs across Europe have been hit heavily financially by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has prevented fans from attending matches since April.
And Russian oligarch Abramovich is said to be aware that spending heavily this summer will allow him to sign players who otherwise may have been unattainable.
Havertz has been tracked by clubs across Europe including Real Madrid and Barcelona but neither can afford to launch pursuits of him in the current climate.
And so Chelsea is the only real destination for the highly-rated German, meaning a bidding war has been avoided and signing Havertz has been far more simple than it otherwise might have been, although he has not yet joined.
Lampard’s raft of additions will increase the pressure on the manager to bridge the gap to Liverpool and Manchester City at the top of the table having finished 33 points behind the title-winning Reds last season.
But he has been backed to “embrace” the increase in expectation that will come with the Premier League giants’ summer spending.
“The expectation now is to bridge the gap between Man City and Liverpool,” former Liverpool, West Ham, Sheffield United and Everton midfielder Don Hutchison said to ESPN FC.
“He’s a lad that likes pressure, he understands the pressure. He understood that [pressure] even when he was a player.
“He won’t be happy sitting and fighting for top-four and maybe a domestic trophy.
“The amount of money he’s spent – the club has spent – and the quality of signings, they have to be pushing. I think Frank will embrace that.”
But ex-Chelsea midfielder Craig Burley has warned that if he gets it wrong, Lampard faces the Stamford Bridge axe despite his history with the club.
“Well he’ll have to [live up to the expectations] or he’ll be out,” Burley told ESPN FC.
“He’s adored by the Chelsea fans because of his hugely successful time there but Abramovich is not running a sentimental ship, and he’s backed him.
“Frank Lampard now knows he’s going to have to prove his worth. I think we saw enough last year in terms of the way his team played that there is a lot of hope there.
“I think there are concerns about the way his team defended at times and that’s something that he’s going to have to sort out.
“But the thing is, Abramovich and the ownership will expect him to be in the title shake-up.
“But the very least they will expect, if they are out of the title running during the season, is that – and I’ve talked about this a lot, the gap that Chelsea and Man United had to Liverpool was over 30 points – the very least that he can show if he’s out of the title race next season is that that gap has been narrowed considerably.
“He cannot afford to finish in fourth spot next year, 33 points or 32 points off the top boys, that’s not going to cut.
“So as long as there’s progress there, I think he’ll get some time, and that’s where the pressure’s going to be.
“That being said, if the players do gel and there’s been a heck of a lot coming in, I don’t see any reason, none at all, why they couldn’t make a really good fist of pegging that gap to Liverpool back.”