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Lampard hints at this rule change that saw the Premier League miss out on an opportunity

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Chelsea fans direct displeasure towards Frank Lampard after falling to a third defeat in four games against Arsenal on Boxing Day.

Chelsea boss Frank Lampard expresses displeasure over dropped substitute rule

Speaking to Football.london (h/t The Mirror), Chelsea manager Frank Lampard has expressed his displeasure that the five substitute rule has been scrapped for the season.

Following the coronavirus suspension last season, Premier League bosses made the decision to perk up the number of substitutions allowed from three to five per game.

“The ball was certainly dropped when the Premier League turned away from having five subs.”

The top-flight clubs were a divided bunch regarding the continuation of the rule for the current season. Unfortunately, it was not to be.

 Chelsea manager Frank Lampard has expressed his displeasure that the five substitute rule has been scrapped for the season.
Chelsea manager Frank Lampard is unhappy that the five substitute rule was scrapped

Having it in force would have helped negotiate what is set to be a hectic schedule. Lampard believes it would have given clubs the leeway to use players more judiciously rather than increase the burden on them.

“The demands on players are huge for every club.”

The schedule is appearing to take a toll on a number of players all across the league. Not even title favourites Liverpool and Manchester City have been exempt from the misfortunes.

The Blues have a taxing schedule this season
The Blues have a taxing schedule this season (Getty Images)

“It could certainly have a big effect this year, more than any other year.”

Having international matches thrown into the mix has done little to ease the pressure players are facing. While Lampard admits things are difficult, he also admits clubs will have to do the best they can.

Small comforts!

Thankfully, UEFA competitions have decided to retain the five substitute rule. The Blues boss made use of his full complement of changes in the midweek Champions League fixture against Krasnodar.

It has been no secret where Chelsea’s allegiances on the rule lay. Given the unforeseen circumstances the players are operating under, they could have done with a little more protection.

Lampard will have to show good squad management
Lampard will have to show good squad management

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Thankfully, our summer business has ensured that we have a diverse squad to choose from when needed. With a large roster at his disposal, it is up to Lampard to ensure he makes the most of the situation he is up against.

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Fikayo Tomori could help Chelsea in the race for £38m Nikola Milenkovic

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Nikola Milenkovic of Fiorentina is a transfer target for Liverpool, Manchester United, and Chelsea.

Transfer News: Chelsea keen on a deal for Nikola Milenkovic

According to transfer news from SempreMilan, Chelsea are keen on a deal for Nikola Milenkovic. The Blues will face competition from the likes of Manchester United and AC Milan for the Fiorentina man’s signature.

His contract at the Serie A clubs expires in the summer of 2022, which means he could be a free agent by the time the 2022 summer transfer window arrives. However, Fiorentina have been told that there are no plans to renew his current deal and he wants to take on a new challenge.

Nikola Milenkovic in action for Fiorentina. (imago Images)
Nikola Milenkovic in action for Fiorentina. (imago Images)

This is why they could be open to parting ways with the Serbian international this summer itself. Any Chelsea move for the 23-year-old, however, rests on one Chelsea loanee.

If AC Milan make Fikayo Tomori’s deal permanent, they are unlikely to chase Milenkovic anymore, leaving Chelsea to battle only Manchester United for him.

He is an immovable part of the La Viola line-up this season where he has made 28 Serie A appearances, even grabbing 3 goals and an assist in that time. The Serbian is priced at £38m, which is relatively on the higher end given the current situation.

Firenze 07/03/2021 – campionato di calcio serie A / Fiorentina-Parma / foto Image nella foto: Nikola Milenkovic.

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However, with AC Milan all but set to sign Tomori on a permanent deal, the Blues could recycle the funds towards Milenkovic. A solid defender by all means, he could be a long-term addition to the side.

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Transfer News: Olivier Giroud to leave Chelsea and join Inter Milan

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Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud in action. (GETTY Images)

Transfer News: Olivier Giroud could leave Chelsea and join Inter Milan

According to transfer news from SempreInter, Olivier Giroud could leave Chelsea at the end of the season and reunite with Antonio Conte at Inter Milan. The Italian club are looking to replace fourth choice striker Andrea Pinamonti and Giroud is one of the options being considered.

The 34-year-old Giroud has been with Chelsea since January 2018 when he sealed a transfer from Arsenal. The veteran forward has been a handy player for the Blues, chipping in with vital goals on a consistent basis.

So far this term, Giroud has racked up a tally of 11 goals from 26 matches in all competitions, scoring some important goals, especially in the UEFA Champions League. (h/t Transfermarkt)

Sport Bilder des Tages Atletico Madrid v Chelsea UEFA Champions League Olivier Giroud of Chelsea scores their first goal during the UEFA Champions League match at Arena Nationala, Bucharest.

However, the Frenchman’s future at the club is far from certain as he is in the final few months of his contract. Indeed, Giroud’s current deal with Chelsea runs out at the end of the season, which has led to interest from a host of clubs in Italy.

Apparently, Inter manager Antonio Conte is looking to add another reliable striker to his ranks as a backup to Lautaro Martinez, Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez. Hence they have zeroed in on Giroud who has previously worked under Conte at Chelsea.

Chelsea s Olivier Giroud with Antonio Conte during the FA Cup Fifth Round match at Stamford Bridge Stadium, London. Picture date 16th February 2018. Picture credit should read: David Klein/Sportimage.

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Giroud has been a very useful squad player. Even at 34, the Frenchman adds a lot of value to the side but has become a bit-part player in recent weeks. So, there is a good chance he could reunite with Conte at Inter should he decide not to renew with Chelsea come the end of the season.

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Chelsea to swap Emerson Palmieri for Juve star Alex Sandro

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Transfer News: Emerson Palmieri – Alex Sandro swap deal could be on the cards for Chelsea

According to transfer news from Football Italia, Chelsea could offer Emerson Palmieri in a swap deal for Alex Sandro. Thomas Tuchel remains a fan of the player while Juventus are keen to offload him. On the other hand, Emerson has often expressed his desire to return to Italy.

There were exit links in January 2020 but Frank Lampard refused to sanction a sale. Emerson has been underused ever since Lampard took over and the arrival of Ben Chilwell did nothing to help that cause.

When Alonso fell out of favour, Emerson was given sporadic chances. However, on Tuchel’s appointment, Alonso was straightaway restored as the first-choice wing-back, with even Ben Chilwell struggling for game time.

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Dave Shopland/IPS/Shutterstock 11824144bl Ben Chilwell of Chelsea hugs Christian Pulisic of Chelsea and Emerson of Chelsea as he celebrates his strike at goal being deflected off Oliver Norwood of Sheffield United into the back of the net to make it 1-0 Chelsea v Sheffield United, FA Cup, Football, Stamford Bridge, London, UK – 21 Mar 2021.

Emerson has struggled massively to get any sort of game time this season and an exit has been mooted. The Italian has been linked with a move to Juventus, Inter Milan or Napoli. As for Sandro, Juventus want to get rid of his €6m-per-season wages.

With Emerson returning from abroad, he would be able to take advantage of tax cuts and that in turn can help Juve who would then have to shell out half of what they did on Sandro. The Brazilian is a decent full-back to have but he has not shown much progress in the last few seasons.

FC Porto v Juventus FC Champions League 17/02/2021. Juventus Alex Sandro in action during the UEFA Champions League match between FC Porto and Juventus FC at Estadio do Dragao, Porto, Portugal on 17 February 2021.

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Given his age and experience, Emerson should be playing week in week out. That is clearly impossible at Chelsea due to the presence of Alonso and Chilwell. However, this swap deal hardly makes sense for Chelsea given Sandro would be joining the club in a position that is already stocked.

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Aston Villa to pass up on Ross Barkley but West Ham show interest

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Transfer News: Aston Villa to pass up on Ross Barkley, West Ham show interest

According to transfer news from TEAMtalk, Aston Villa are willing to pass up on a permanent deal for Ross Barkley but West Ham have shown interest.

Villa have reportedly told Chelsea they don’t intend to keep Barley. However, David Moyes has added the player to his transfer wishlist for next season.

Barkley joined Chelsea in January 2018 from boyhood club Everton. Despite showing glimpses of his innate ability, the England international wasn’t able to nail down a spot for himself in the lineup at Stamford Bridge.

Following the arrivals of Hakim Ziyech and Kai Havertz last summer, Barkley sought to leave the club on loan in order to play regularly.

Ross Barkley in action for Chelsea. (GETTY Images)
Ross Barkley in action for Chelsea. (GETTY Images)

To that end, he secured a loan move to Aston Villa. Barkley made a fine start to life at Villa Park, playing a key role in their strong beginning to the campaign.

However, over the course of the season, has form has declined greatly with intermittent injury problems making things worse. The 27-year-old has now become pretty much an afterthought for Villa manager Dean Smith.

With the season fast approaching its end, Barkley will soon be back at Chelsea, where his chances are unlikely to improve a great deal. Amidst this limbo, he could be offered an escape route by a familiar face in David Moyes.

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Jed Leicester/BPI/Shutterstock 11850772i David Moyes West Ham United Manager talks to the media in a pre-match interview West Ham United v Leicester City, Premier League, Football, The London Stadium, London, UK – 11 Apr 2021.

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It was under Moyes that Barkley broke through at Everton and the Scotsman is said to be a fan of his former ward. Currently managing West Ham, he could explore the possibility of signing Barkley if an opportunity presents itself.

A transfer away from Chelsea could be the ideal way forward for Ross Barkley with the Blues also keen to get the midfielder off their books.

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