Chelsea are free to spend, spend, spend again. It’s what they’ve done best for the best part of 15 years, and after the halving of their transfer embargo they will be free to explore the market once more in January.
However, having begun to rely on youth this term under manager Frank Lampard, they may not be so lavish this time around.
Tammy Abraham, Fikayo Tomori and Mason Mount have all stepped up to the plate in light of the Blues’ transfer ban and gone are the days of the west Londoners freely using Roman Abramovich’s chequebook. Reece James and Callum Hudson-Odoi are also expected to be mainstays at Stamford Bridge for years to come.
Saying that, to complement the young guys who have shone this season, Chelsea will likely need to bolster the squad this January if they are to continue their push for the Champions League with a place in the top four.
There are a few key positions Lampard will want to improve as he looks to build on a solid start which began to falter until Sunday’s victory at London rivals Arsenal.
Home defeats to West Ham, Bournemouth and Southampton were not expected but, such is the young age of the side, it can happen. Either way, the run which has seen Chelsea record three wins and five defeats in their last eight games should focus the minds in the boardrooms ahead of the window opening.
The striking department will be a priority.
Abraham has been banging the goals in during his first full season with Chelsea, netting 12 and assisting another three. However, Olivier Giroud and Michy Batshuayi in reserve aren’t really fancied.
It feels like Frenchmen Giroud has been constantly linked with a move away from Stamford Bridge ever since he arrived from Arsenal in 2018.
Already he has been tipped as a possible target for Juventus and Inter while he could also be used as bait in Chelsea’s reported pursuit of Lyon frontman Moussa Dembele.
Batshuayi, meanwhile, has always played second fiddle and a lack of game time has stifled his goal tally.
Loan spells at Valencia, Borussia Dortmund and Crystal Palace threw up varying levels of form and finishing, and it comes as no surprise that Chelsea are looking at Timo Werner of RB Leipzig.
The other area of focus for Lampard is at the back.
All season, he has mixed things up at left-back between Marcos Alonso and Emerson Palmieri, with the latter getting the nod more often than not.
The 25-year-old made only 25 appearances in the previous two seasons combined and isn’t really seen as the long-term option.
That could lead to the manager asking for alternatives to be brought in from elsewhere.
At centre-back Lampard will definitely want to strengthen.
The Blues have already let in 28 goals at this stage - that’s more than Sheffield United, Wolves and Crystal Palace.
While Tomori has been a welcome addition and taken to the Premier League like a seasoned pro, and Kurt Zouma has been a regular following his successful loan at Everton, question marks remain over Andreas Christensen.
So far, he has made just eight appearances and has not hit the same top form he enjoyed during the 2017/18 campaign after his two seasons with Borussia Monchengladbach.
Antonio Rudiger will need time to recover after a long injury lay-off and so Chelsea need reinforcements.
The future is certainly bright for the Blues but it’s the here and now Lampard will be focusing on when the transfer window opens in January. After all, if they can successfully bolster their Champions League push then that can only lead to greater experiences for the fresh-faced squad that has dazzled in patches this season.