Paul Merson: ‘it looks like Chelsea have been planning this season for five years’

Several young players broke through into the first team.

Frank Lampard turned the transfer ban to their advantage.

The core of this new team has the potential to become a dominant side in the Premier League.

Former Arsenal player Paul Merson argues that even if Chelsea have not planned to rely on their youth this season, it looks exactly like that.

The transfer ban added up to Frank Lampard’s appointment, and the manager and his staff have a deep knowledge of the academy that has consistently been one of the best in the country.

From a distance it looks like Chelsea have been planning this season for the last five years,” Merson told Sky Sports. “I’m not sure whether this is the greatest plan ever or whether they stumbled across it, either way they are looking good.

It’s the stuff of dreams; Frank Lampard retires, takes the job at Derby, Chelsea will get a transfer embargo and then all of the kids that have been ripping it up on loan return to the club and everything falls into place.

“In two or three years’ time, this Chelsea team will be dictating the Premier League, mark my words. All of their young players would have played 100-odd games together by then and, if they continue in the same vein, their countries too.”

Tammy Abraham, Mason Mount and Fikayo Tomori are first-team regulars, while Reece James, Billy Gilmour, Ian Maatsen and Tino Anjorin also made their debut for their boyhood club.

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