Chelsea’s £40m sale of midfielder Nemanja Matic to title rivals Manchester United has been described as ‘strange’ by club legend Frank Lampard who has also called on the Blues’ manager to strengthen his squad before the end of the transfer window if he hopes to compete with the other big teams.
Lampard is convinced that Chelsea ought to have kept hold of Nemanja Matic this summer given his role in the club's title-winning season and suggested that the club has half of Arsenal’s quality, according to SportsMail.
“'It was a strange one [to see Matic go to United]. He was such a huge part of Chelsea's play last year alongside Kante at the base. He let the wing-backs fly on and he allowed Pedro and Willian freedom to go forward.”
Lampard called on his former club to strengthen after pointing out the glaring disparity in the size of Antonio Conte's squad compared Arsenal in Sunday's shootout defeat.
“You look at the two teams there, and Chelsea have got almost half of what the Arsenal squad is. If we're talking about quality, I still think Chelsea have that quality, but when Conte was at Juventus he used to do the same thing in the summer. He used to push the club to buy more players to move forward.
“I think he's concerned as he's going to lose [Diego] Costa, they've lost Matic. They've brought players in but I think he wants more because now they're going to be fighting on the Champions League front.”
Lqampard also expressed surprise that Thibaut Courtois was asked to take a penalty, which he subsequently missed as Arsenal ran out 4-1 winners.
“I don't know why Courtois was taking the penalty. But they'll have to come back next week. I think the whispers coming out of Chelsea has been slightly negative. The performance was average, rusty in the first half, only glimpses in the second half. It's not a tactical move, but I'm sure Conte can go to the board and say he needs more players. They need another central midfielder, and they need cover in the wing-back roles.”