Some players will need extensions just to see out the current season. Chelsea and Frank Lampard are saying a lot about which players they want and do not.
Because of COVID-19, some players will run out of contract before the current season can be completed. With the Premier League desperate to wrap things up but COVID-19 not halting, the league has been pushed back to the point where extensions need to be considered for some players to end the year with their current clubs.
For Chelsea, that would be Willian, Pedro, Olivier Giroud, and Willy Caballero. According to trasnfermarkt, Giroud has been extended already per the rumors from earlier in the year. Regardless, these players could very easily miss the end of the season as free agents.
Apparently, Frank Lampard wants to hand Willian and Giroud extensions to at least finish the season. That tells a story, as does the absence of Pedro and Willy Caballero in that equation.
First of all, a caveat. Lampard never directly mentions Willian or Giroud in the interview this notion is coming from. But every single article mentioning it excludes Pedro and Caballero, which seems odd considering that they are not complete unknowns.
But with only nine matches left, it is not as though Chelsea would absolutely need all four of these players. Caballero especially is the easiest one to justify rolling on without. Yes, he did keep Kepa Arrizabalaga on the bench for a few weeks but at this point the natural order seems to have been resumed. The Blues could make do without a backup keeper for a few matches.
Pedro is also easy to understand. His style of play does not really age well and it is already clear that he would not be extended beyond this season regardless. Furthermore, he is pretty far down on the minutes played chart compared to his teammates. Lampard may appreciate him, but he certainly does not need him.
Willian and Giroud being extended (even if only to the end of this season) does make sense though. Both can very much add something to the team that other players in their positions cannot. Willian remains a hardworking winger that can put things together before the player that puts things together puts things together. Giroud offers an alternative to Tammy Abraham’s style in the striker position that Lampard has finally worked out how to take advantage of.
Both are likely the only two of the four that could be extended beyond this season as well. The Giroud extension has already been discussed. Willian has been offered a two year contract. He wants three, but either he leaves in search of that from somewhere else or he folds and accepts the three on the table from Chelsea.
This was not a problem that the Blues (or any club) was really prepared for coming into this season. The club and Lampard will need to make hard decisions about which players they want to see the season out with. For now, that seems to be Giroud and Willian. Pedro and Caballero will likely be out before season’s end in a strange set of circumstances.