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The £58m hole in Frank Lampard’s strongest team as Chelsea prepare for Newcastle and Tottenham

Chelsea go into the international break in fifth place in the Premier League table, just three points off the top.

After a slow start, the new signings at Stamford Bridge have bedded in well and are putting Frank Lampard’s team on the right track in terms of challenging for the highest honours.

The attacking prowess has now been supplemented by a solid back-line and everything is looking rosy.

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But with a wealth of talent at his disposal, what exactly is Lampard’s best starting XI?

We asked our writers to name their strongest team and we’ve seen how that compares to the most expensive side Lampard could assemble at Stamford Bridge too.

Oliver Harbord – Chelsea writer

There is no doubt that Edouard Mendy would be the number one choice in goal, and the back four picks itself as well.

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Reece James, Kurt Zouma, Thiago Silva and Ben Chilwell is providing the perfect balance between attack and defence right now.

The 4-3-3 formation is providing the right balance, with N’Golo Kante in the holding role, and to have Kai Havertz and Mason Mount either side of him.

Tammy Abraham deserves to be starting up top with his performances in recent weeks.
There’s no doubt that Timo Werner starts and with Hakim Ziyech starting to show what he can do, the creativity of the side is really coming through.

Frank Lampard would be hoping that this starting XI can stick together through injuries, but the depth of squad, with the likes of Mateo Kovacic and Christian Pulisic to come in, is at its peak.

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Harbord’s team: Mendy; James, Thiago Silva, Zouma, Chilwell; Havertz, Kante, Mount; Ziyech, Abraham, Werner.

Alan Smith – Chelsea writer

What should be a difficult task based on the depth of Frank Lampard’s squad is pretty straightforward considering current form.

Chris Sutton names surprise Chelsea star as signing of the season

Chris Sutton names surprise Chelsea star as signing of the season

The back five picks itself apart from split opinion on whether Reece James or Cesar Azpilicueta should start at right back. For this exercise the former gets the nod on the basis of his attacking threat.

N’Golo Kante is far more effective in a deeper midfield role and Kai Havertz and Mason Mount are the best options at No8, with Mateo Kovacic the first option off the bench.

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Up front is a little trickier. Hakim Ziyech is a lock on the right. Tammy Abraham has been really good since coming into the side with Timo Werner shifted left but if Christian Pulisic can stay clear of injury then Lampard will have a real dilemma on his hands.

With everyone fit and at their best it will be Ziyech, Werner, Pulisic – but on the evidence of the campaign so far it must be the existing trio.

Smith’s team: Mendy; James, Silva, Zouma, Chilwell; Havertz, Kante, Mount; Ziyech, Abraham, Werner.

Market value

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If you’re not going on form and going purely on the most expensive starting XI you could assemble at Chelsea, there would be a couple of changes.

While our Chelsea writers may agree on Lampard’s starting XI moving forward, given the start to the campaign, money matters, according to, paints a slightly different picture.

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Mendy remains in goal, with Kepa Arrizabalaga’s value dropping astonishingly since arriving at Stamford Bridge in a £71million deal.

The back four would only change from what our Blues writers have chosen by Antonio rudiger coming in for the ageing Thiago Silva.

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Midfield would see Jorginho come in alongside Kante and Havertz, with Mount dropping out, while the frontline would see Pulisic replacing either Hakim Ziyech or Tammy Abraham, who have the same value, depending on how you would want to play.

Most expensive team: Mendy (£18m); James (£27m), Rudiger (£27m), Zouma (£27m), Chilwell (£45m); Kante (£63m), Jorginho (£45m), Havertz (£72.9m), Pulisic (£54m), Werner (£63m), Ziyech/Abraham (£36m).

Now it’s time for you to have your say.

What would be your strongest Chelsea XI moving forward after the international break?

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