Frank Lampard is likely to explore his links with former Chelsea club as he attempts to strengthen his Everton squad over the summer.
The Blues boss turned to Stamford Bridge during his managerial spell at Derby County – playing a key role in the development of Mason Mount after signing him on loan. Fikayo Tomori, who has just won Serie A with AC Milan, was also signed by Lampard and was voted the supporters’ player of the season during his time at Pride Park.
Everton’s transfer strategy is set to focus on finding value in the market and young talents eager to prove themselves. Club officials believe they do have room to spend money if necessary and still comply with financial regulations, however, despite significant losses over recent year.
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One area Lampard may be able to exploit to achieve his goal of making the squad more “robust” is the loan market. Chelsea allowed a number of promising players to join other Premier League clubs this season – several of whom had impressive spells. Two dozen players left the club to gain first-team football and several could be assessing their futures – including looking to move elsewhere either temporarily or permanently.
The impact of the ongoing takeover of the Stamford Bridge club and associated upheaval may also create opportunities for Lampard to use his relationship to strengthen Everton. And these are some of the names – two of whom he gave firstteam debuts to – who could be of interest.
Gallagher, once heavily scouted by Everton, was the most impressive of Chelsea’s loan stars this season, starring for Crystal Palace and earning an England call-up. He finished the season with eight goals and was voted player of the year by Palace supporters. Earlier this season, Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel heaped praise on the 22-year-old, who scored twice against Everton in the league clash at Selhurst Park. Tuchel said he would discuss the future with Gallagher when his loan spell came to an end and the player may remain at Chelsea to fight for a place in the first team. If there is a possibility of him leaving, however, there is likely to be a long list of interested clubs including Palace, whose manager Patrick Vieira has said he would be keen to discuss a return. If he was to look elsewhere, maybe the incredible Goodison Park atmosphere after Everton secured safety against Palace last week might temp Gallagher.
Gilmour was on loan at Norwich City this season, playing 28 times in a difficult campaign. Lampard handed the 20-year-old midfielder his Chelsea debut and he’s previously been a big fan of the Scotland star, praising his development while he was in charge at Stamford Bridge and tipping him to become a “huge player” there.
Broja had impressive spells during his time on-loan at Southampton, grabbing six Premier League goals. The season before, he scored 11 goals in 34 appearances for Vitesse Arnhem in an earlier loan spell. The 20-year-old is under contract at Stamford Bridge until 2026 but several London-based Premier League clubs are rumored to be interested in moving for Albania international. He is said to be highly rated by Chelsea, but may be available on loan again next season. Ralph Hasenhuttl, the Southampton boss, has said he would like to have Broja back, recently explaining: “He likes it here, he loves it here. It would be great if he was our player. He wants to be with us, I think “You can feel this at every moment. The fans love him also, this is good.” Lampard also gave Broja his Chelsea debut, saying earlier this season: “He’s a good lad, a very talented young boy … Fast, strong. Has a real eye for goal. A very, very good player. I’m very aware of his strength. ”
Everton need to strengthen in several areas but one that stands out is the position of center-back. Yerry Mina missed much of the season through injury, while Ben Godfrey was also unavailable for swathes of the relegation battle. Colwill is just 19 but has enjoyed an impressive spell at Huddersfield Town, where he tasted first-team football for the first time. He has played 30 times so far in the Championship and is set to feature in the play-off final against Nottingham Forest.
Ampadu signed a new deal with Chelsea last summer but was loaned out to Serie A side Venezia, who slumped to relegation. The Wales international has also had loan stints at RB Leipzig and Sheffield United and his versatility – he can play in the center of defense and midfield – could offer appeal, though his next move could be to the Championship rather than the Premier League.