Next Chelsea owner has golden £29m trio to replicate Frank Lampard’s genius transfer blueprint – Daniel Childs

When Frank Lampard became Chelsea’s head coach in July 2019, he knew that looking internally was going to be a big part of his first season.

With a transfer ban imposed by FIFA five months earlier, the west London club could not continue their lavish spending to solve all of the squad’s problems. In hindsight, the challenge posed proved a blessing in disguise. It shattered the glass ceiling for a generation of academy products.

In the process, Lampard uncovered five gems across the 2019/20 campaign that helped secure Champions League qualification and proved to be capable of increasing the level of senior players around them.

Mason Mount, Reece James, Fikayo Tomori and Tammy Abraham were the main quartet of Cobham graduates who were the breakthroughs of that season. Callum Hudson-Odoi, who returned from an Achilles injury early into the season, added even more academy influence.

As winter turned to spring, Billy Gilmour was handed a significant start in the FA Cup win over Liverpool in March, another player proving to offer solutions in a challenging period of the season.

Armando Broja, Tino Anjorin and Ian Maatsen also enjoyed their senior debuts throughout the season as Lampard ensured it was a groundbreaking season.

Only James and Mount remain at the club out of the main four, whilst Tomori and Abraham were sold last summer to Serie A giants Roma and AC Milan. Their fees add up to around £59m combined in a summer where several other youth hopefuls departed.

After Roman Abramovich announced his intention to sell Chelsea on Wednesday evening, it is impossible to gauge how new ownership will approach this upcoming summer transfer window.

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Up until a week ago, it appeared like Chelsea would be going after a new central midfielder, with West Ham’s Declan Rice and Monaco’s Aurélien Tchouaméni linked. Finally, getting the deal done for long-term target Jules Kounde and potentially an attacking addition.

But with that upheaval, potentially the exit of director Marina Granovskaia and more, new owners may not be as brash as they establish a new direction at Stamford Bridge.

That is why like Lampard, looking at Cobham’s talent could again prove so valuable in an uncertain time.

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Conor Gallagher, Armando Broja and Levi Colwill have all been thriving out on loan this season for Crystal Palace, Southampton and Huddersfield, respectively.

The trio’s estimated fee combined via TransferMarkt reaches £29m. However, Chelsea would probably see Colwill and Broja as higher than £8m and £2m, respectively.

Whoever comes in might see the trio as too valuable to keep so early on their reign, along with whoever leads recruitment, opt against cashing in, given all three have attracted Premier League interest.

It would also save the Blues the headache of spending as much as Gallagher would offer an attacking midfield option, Broja a striker boost, and Colwill added to a defence that looks uncertain with many senior players out of contract.

The lesson of the past few years has been that trusting Cobham talent brings considerable benefits, and new owners shouldn’t change that.

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