Former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher believes Chelsea’s biggest problem this season has been their defence.
The Blues have received a lot of criticism for their wastefulness in front of goal in recent weeks, with losses coming despite Chelsea dominating games against teams in the bottom half of the table.
Tammy Abraham has done well on his first season as Chelsea’s starting striker, scoring 13 goals so far, but the rest of the Blues squad are still some way behind with Mason Mount and Christian Pulisic the next highest on five.
What is Chelsea’s biggest problem? Five things to know…
- Chelsea are currently fourth in the Premier League after 26 games.
- However, they have lost seven of their past 14 matches in the league.
- The Blues have had problems with their goal scoring and signed Hakim Ziyech for next season.
- However, Jamie Carragher believes Chelsea’s biggest problem is their defence.
- Frank Lampard’s side have averaged 1.38 goals conceded per game in the league.
Chelsea have looked to remedy this for next season, confirming the signing of Ajax midfielder Hakim Ziyech for an initial fee of £33.3m. They are also being linked with Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho, with interest carrying on from the January transfer window.
However, Frank Lampard’s men were also reportedly chasing defensive reinforcements in the winter window, with the likes of Ben Chilwell and Nathan Ake linked.
And Carragher believes it is the defence that Chelsea should focus on strengthening, given the problems it has caused them this season.
“I said at the start of the season, I felt if Chelsea finished in the top four and got Champions League Frank Lampard would have done a brilliant job,” he told Sky Sports prior to Chelsea’s Premier League game against Manchester United.
“And they’re fourth in the table now.
“Even listening to Frank’s comments before the game, he’s still slightly disappointed in that he feels they should be away from the rest of the sides in that fourth position.
“They’ve been inconsistent very up and down, certainly in the last 12 or 13 games.
“They just sign a winger from Ajax for next season, there’s talk about them speaking to Jadon Sancho and even another striker. And yes, I think they do need all that.
“But the biggest problem for me, from day one for Chelsea and this Frank Lampard Chelsea team is defensively.
“They’re not good enough defensively. And this is a player that played in some of the strongest defensive teams under Jose Mourinho.
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“Clean sheets is really poor, five in the Premier League. They’ve actually got seven clean sheets in 36 games this season in all competitions, nowhere near good enough.”
Chelsea went on to lose the game 2-0 at Stamford Bridge, conceding goals in either half from Anthony Martial and Harry Maguire – both headers.
They have now conceded 36 goals in 26 Premier League games this season, only Everton have let in more among teams currently in the top half of the table. Chelsea are also four games without a league clean sheet and have conceded twice in each of their past three Premier League matches.