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10-Aug-2020, 02:04 pm

Lampard is building a team that can fight for the title next season, says ex-Chelsea team-mate Carvalho

Frank Lampard Chelsea

Frank Lampard is building a team that can fight for the Premier League title next season, according to his ex-Chelsea team-mate Ricardo Carvalho.

Lampard inherited a squad which had just secured third in the Premier League and a Europa League crown, with a final victory over Arsenal in Baku ensuring the 2019-20 campaign ended on a high.

However, the Blues were hampered by a FIFA-imposed transfer ban which prevented them from signing a replacement for Eden Hazard, whose seven-year stay in west London came to a close when he joined Real Madrid for €100 million (£90m/$118m).

Lampard managed to compensate for the loss of a talismanic performer by bringing through a number of academy stars, including Tammy Abraham, Mason Mount and Reece James, all of whom had spent the previous year out on loan.

Chelsea ended up finishing fourth in the top-flight table, which ensured that Lampard's first season was ultimately deemed a success despite a painful FA Cup final defeat to Arsenal and a Champions League exit at the hands of Bayern Munich.

The 42-year-old has also been able to add two high-profile players to his squad this year after seeing the club's transfer ban lifted, with Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner snapped up from Ajax and RB Leipzig respectively.

Carvalho believes that injection of extra quality will help the Blues challenge Liverpool and Manchester City for domestic glory next term, and has praised Lampard for maximising the output of the group following Hazard's departure.

"Given he lost Eden Hazard, so far he's done very well," the former Chelsea centre-back told the Daily Mail.

"He achieved a Champions League place for next season which of course is very important, and has brought in young, talented players.

"Frank is building a very good team and I expect next year he can fight for the title with those players, for sure."

Chelsea were beaten 4-1 by Bayern in the second leg of their last 16 Champions League tie in Germany on Saturday, which saw them exit the competition 7-1 on aggregate.

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