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Frank Lampard admits January window presents "challenge" after transfer ban lifted

Frank Lampard admits January window presents
© Reuters
Chelsea's embargo was cut by the CAS from two transfer windows to the one they have already served.

Frank Lampard has warned Chelsea face a big recruitment “challenge” after the Blues’ transfer embargo was lifted.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has halved Chelsea’s two-window FIFA transfer ban, freeing up the Stamford Bridge club to make new signings in January.

Chelsea boss Lampard admitted he will look to strengthen next month despite being happy with his current squad, with a new left-back and second striker among the priorities.

Tammy Abraham, Fikayo Tomori and Mason Mount, l-r
Tammy Abraham, Fikayo Tomori and Mason Mount, l-r, are among the Chelsea youngsters to impress this season (Nick Potts/PA)

Academy graduates Tammy Abraham, Mason Mount, Fikayo Tomori and Reece James have starred as Lampard was unable to mark his summer arrival with any statement signings. And the former England midfielder admitted Chelsea must be careful not to make transfers for transfers’ sake.

Asked about the prospect of dipping into the transfer market, Lampard said: “It will be a challenge, yes. Personally what affected me in the summer with the transfer ban, when you come into the club or when you want to go a certain way, sometimes the players you bring in and the attributes they have are key to that.

“I couldn’t make those changes to bring in the players that I felt would help the way I wanted us to play.

“Going forward that is something that I will put to the club. It is a much bigger process than just me making a decision on who I want to buy. It’s not that simple.

“It’s not just myself who gets it right or wrong, but as a club we will have a full discussion and I have a very open conversation with (director) Marina (Granovskaia) and the owner.

Marina Granovskaia, centre
Marina Granovskaia, centre, has a major role to play in any transfer dealings (Yui Mok/PA)

“Any recommendations that I make to improve the squad as I see will improve us in the shape that we want to go. It will be a challenge and hopefully we will get it right.”

The Blues were hit with the two-window FIFA transfer embargo in April on issues relating to the signing of overseas youth players.

The Swiss-based CAS has halved Chelsea’s punishments on appeal however, leaving the Blues able to recruit next month.

“The sole arbitrator found that CFC did violate Articles 19.1 (related to the international transfer of minors) and 19.3 (related to the first registration of minors), but for a significantly smaller number of players (about one third of the violations found by FIFA),” read a CAS statement.

“In addition, the violations of other RSTP rules were found to be less serious than those attributed to Chelsea FC by FIFA.

“Accordingly, the sole arbitrator reduced the sanction to one single transfer ban (which Chelsea FC already served during the 2019 summer registration period), and halved the monetary sanction.”

Lampard has welcomed Chelsea’s ability to bolster their squad in mid-season, but also insisted he will not alter the Stamford Bridge picture lightly.

“It’s a positive outcome for us; it allows us the potential to look at the market going forward,” said Lampard.

“So I’m pleased from a footballing level. It was never my business to get involved in the reasons why or the legal side of it.

“As much as it is important to bring players in, it is as important for me that we keep the balance of the squad right.

“I don’t see just the 11 players who start, but the squad of 20-plus men that need to help us over the course of the season.

“So if we are going to bring in players or players leave it will be with a view to go in that direction.”

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