8 The Daily Telegraph Wednesday 1 July 2020 *** Sport Who’s who in the Chelsea rebuild Football Patient Chelsea plotting success the Anfield way FOOTBALL NEWS CORRESPONDENT By Matt Law Signings of Werner and Ziyech with others to follow show how Lampard has learnt lessons from champions’ recruitment policy RB Leipzig. “Inter, Manchester United and Liverpool wanted me? Yes, I could have gone to these teams, too,” Werner told Sportbuzzer. “The best clubs fought for me. Money played a marginal role. Chelsea is a leading club in European football. I don’t regret my decision for even a second.” The signing of Werner also demonstrated that Chelsea have learnt lessons from their own past and perhaps from Liverpool’s patience over clinching the Van Dijk deal. In January, Lampard had been desperate to land a forward, but Paris St-Germain and Napoli refused to negotiate over Edinson Cavani and Dries Mertens, while Erling Haaland chose Borussia Dortmund. Previous managers and coaches had reacted to a failure to sign primary targets by pushing the club into taking gambles over more temporary options, such as Radamel Falcao, Alexandre Pato and most recently Gonzalo Higuain. Chelsea were offered the chance to sign former Newcastle United frontman Salomon Rondon in the dying hours of the January window, but they refused to panic. Granovskaia received criticism from some fans at the end of the January window and yet the same supporters have been celebrating her negotiating skills since, following the deals for Werner and Hakim Ziyech, in February. There are likely to be more signings, with the club poised to make a bid for Kai Havertz, of Bayer Leverkusen, and Leicester left-back Ben Chilwell. Chelsea may have to follow Liverpool’s example once again if they are to overhaul them and sign a new goalkeeper. Kepa Arrizabalaga is clearly talented, but there remains a feeling he is not top-class. Liverpool may well be wary of a blue threat from outside Manchester in the coming years. ahead of Klopp’s Liverpool just three years ago and there have been encouraging signs that the club have learnt valuable lessons. Just as Klopp and sporting director Michael Edwards have succeeded in putting on a united front and working in close contact to land targets, Chelsea appear ready to benefit from rediscovering the art of joined-up thinking. Conte famously switched his phone off for part of that summer of 2017 in a bid to force the club to deliver his targets, but Lampard’s approach, together with that of technical and performance adviser Petr Cech, has been more inclusive and his relationship with director Marina Granovskaia is close. Lampard and Cech did not especially Hakim Ziyech A sk Antonio Conte why it was that Chelsea were unable to build on the Premier League title success of 2017 and it is fair to assume the Italian will not point to himself. In fact, Conte would not only blame events of that summer for Chelsea losing their advantage, but would also declare the January 2018 transfer window as having a transformative effect on Liverpool. Conte had earmarked Virgil van Dijk as one of his primary targets after winning the league at the end of his first season as Chelsea head coach, and was confident the club would land the Dutchman for him. Liverpool had finished fourth that year, so Conte saw no reason why his club should not be able to see off the rival bid. But Conte and perhaps Chelsea had not bargained on the persuasive powers of charismatic Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, who managed to convince Van Dijk in the summer of 2017 that Anfield should be his preferred destination. It took another six months for Liverpool to land him, but Van Dijk eventually helped his new club to finish one place above Chelsea and qualify for the Champions League ahead of the Blues at the end of the 2017-18 campaign. From that moment, Chelsea have been playing catch-up and now it rests on head coach Frank Lampard to plot how he can eventually claw back a deficit of more than 20 points to this season’s champions. That may look a tall order, but it should be remembered that Conte’s Chelsea had finished 17 points Signed ‘Chelsea is a leading club in European football. I don’t regret my decision to sign for even a second’ fancy their chances when they made a secret pre-lockdown trip to Germany to meet striker Timo Werner, his agent and his family. Liverpool and Manchester United had spoken to Werner and his representatives, and the feeling around Chelsea was they were very much third in the queue. But Cech managed to speak in Werner’s native German tongue to the forward’s agent and family, and Lampard, partly through the exgoalkeeper, communicated his vision and passion for the club. The talks paid dividends and, as Werner confirmed himself, Lampard and Cech did enough to convince him that Stamford Bridge was for him, before Granovskaia worked fast to close a deal with Timo Werner Lampard quick to act over Mount lapse Lockout shows value of fans, says Bruce Arteta: Ozil wages not behind omissions By Matt Law By Luke Edwards By Sam Dean West Ham v Chelsea B’mouth v Newcastle Arsenal v Norwich 8.15pm, Sky Sports 6pm, Sky Sports 6pm, BT Sport Chelsea head coach Frank Lampard has revealed he gave Mason Mount a lecture that was brief and to the point after he broke socialdistancing rules with West Ham’s Declan Rice. Mount and his friend Rice were pictured having a kickabout together at a football centre in London in March shortly after the suspension of the Premier League. Lampard said: “I had the shortest word possible because I saw Mason, in a couple of places, get compared to players who went out and partied, stayed out all night and did different things. MaSteve Bruce has warned that the Premier League will suffer if fans are not allowed back into stadiums for the start of next season. Bruce acknowledged Project Restart has been a triumph, after fears the season would be lost completely, but he warned football will lose its appeal without fans. “If you were going to take a football fan for granted, I don’t think anyone will do that now,” said Bruce. Newcastle travel to Bournemouth today and Bruce added: “It’s not the same spectacle. The Premier League is the most successful league because of Mikel Arteta has said Mesut Ozil’s wages will never have an impact on his selection as the German waits to make his first appearance for the club since the restart of the Premier League. Ozil, who earns £350,000 a week and is Arsenal’s highest earner, has not featured in any of their four matches since the restart and missed Sunday’s trip to Sheffield United with “back soreness”. Ahead of Arsenal’s meeting with Norwich City tonight, Arteta said he expects any player who is not in the team to feel “hurt and disappointed”, adding he believes son’s breach was very innocent, and, as you say, naive. “I had the shortest-ever conversation with Mason. He was pretty apologetic and said he got it wrong straight away and we moved on.” On how Mount’s relationship with Rice could impact tonight’s game, Lampard added: “There is only one thing I will ask of Mason. He texts Declan, he smiles at him in the tunnel, but if and when they go up against each other, he has to try to beat him in every individual battle that he can. We will see.” the great players, but also the support. We shouldn’t take them for granted.” Bruce does not know whether he will be the Newcastle manager next season, as the club wait for a decision from the Premier League on the proposed takeover by a Saudi Arabian-led consortium. But he revealed he is working on the assumption he will remain in charge. “Will I be Newcastle manager next year? I sincerely hope so. I can only plan ahead and presume I will,” he said. Ozil is “not happy” because he is not being selected. Ozil, having opted against taking a pay cut, has earned almost £2 million without playing a competitive minute since Arsenal returned to group training in May, but Arteta said the 31-year-old’s salary has no bearing on selection. “Never,” said Arteta. “Players are paid whatever they deserve because there are two parties here [the player and the club] and that should never be something I have to judge.”
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