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Frank Lampard has confirmed that his side will play a 4-2-3-1 system next season, but the new Blues boss will have a lot of tough choices to make regarding player positions.
From defence to attack there’s a lot of competition in the squad, but one area I’d like to highlight is the No.10 role. This role is the advanced midfield role just behind the striker, and Lampard has three players who will be fighting for the role.
Mason Mount, Ross Barkley and Ruben Loftus-Cheek will all be competing for the role next season, but Loftus-Cheek is currently out injured and may not be available until September. So Barkley and Loftus-Cheek may be the duo fighting for the spot.
Lampard has already worked with Mount at Derby County and knows what the youngster is capable of doing, and the 20-year-old has been impressing in pre-season. For Barkley, he has also had a good pre-season and is pushing for a shirt.
“[Barkley] has never managed double figures in a Premier League season, with eight for Everton in 2015/16 his best return,” said the Mirror after the England midfielder found the net with our second goal in Saitama.
“He has the quality from a technical aspect, that is certain; it has always been about mentality with Barkley.
“Lampard was someone who, as a player, got the most from himself. If he’s challenging Barkley to do more and more this term, then he could have a big campaign in west London.
The Independent also believes Barkley could play an important role for the Blues in the upcoming campaign.
“This season was always going to be a big one for Ross Barkley. His time at Chelsea has been hampered with injury and the fact that they are blessed with midfielders,” it stated.
“He came on for the last 30 minutes against Barcelona and really changed the game in the final third. Playing as a number 10, his favourite position, he showed a fantastic eye for a pass and the Barcelona defenders were unable to get close to him.
“He capped off a fine cameo with a decent strike from range to wrap up the win, controlling the ball then sending it beyond the goalkeeper with his left-foot just outside the penalty area.”
On Mount, Lampard admitted after the game against Barcelona that the youngster has announced himself.
Lampard said: “Mason’s had a great trip and he’s announced himself into the first team squad.”
After the defeat to Kawasaki Frontale, Lampard said of Mount: “I thought Mason’s performance was really good and it was a continuation of how he played for me last year and how he’s trained for me since last Friday as he’s not been with us long, but his energy and his quality.
“Mason’s part of the first-team squad this year and it’s time for him. His qualities will improve even more with the qualities around him.
“Everyone knows the hopes I have for Mason and he showed today a glimmer early in pre-season of what we might see this year and going forward.”