Frank Sinclair claims the Blues are a long way behind Liverpool at present, but feels smart recruitment can close the gap
Chelsea remain “a couple of transfer windows” away from being capable of challenging for the title, says Frank Sinclair, with the Blues needing to make signings and not just rely on bringing young players through.
A 32-point gap separates Frank Lampard’s side from runaway Premier League leaders Liverpool at present and bridging that will not be easy, with the west Londoners likely to need to dip into the transfer market.
A summer deal is already being pieced together for exciting Ajax forward Hakim Ziyech, with the Blues aware that positive recruitment is required in order to rejoin the domestic and European elite.
“Chelsea are quite a way from winning the Premier League,” former defender Sinclair told GentingBet.
“The better question though is, how far is everybody off Liverpool at the moment? There’s certainly a lot for teams to make up on, and I think there are no signs that Liverpool are not going to get stronger and stronger throughout the next decade maybe.
“Chelsea have a lot of work to do. You can’t just keep bringing young players through, expect them to handle the Premier League and have a realistic chance of winning the Premier League with youngsters.
“I’m comfortable that in the next two or three years they’ll maintain finishing in and around the top four and getting in the Champions League.
“But to kick on again, I think Chelsea will probably have to use a couple of transfer windows to bring in the right type of players that will work in tandem with developing the youngsters that are top-class players at the club already.”
The 20-year-old has impressed as a promising option at right-back, but Sinclair feels the versatile defender may need to look at becoming a centre-half for the Blues and England.
He added: “If I was Reece, I might be clever and try and to start playing centre half or something because [Trent] Alexander-Arnold is going to be a hard man to lodge out of that position the way that he’s playing at the moment.
“But it’s internationals and you need world-class players in every position if you want to really seriously challenge at that level.
“So to have someone like Reece James, who will fight for that second slot as the natural right-back, that’s a good thing for England.
“The one thing about Reece that will get him into England squads regularly is his adaptability, he can play centre-half, he can play right-back, he can play central midfield.
“He came back off a great loan period at Wigan, where for the second half of that loan spell, he played in midfield and was unbelievable in there as well.
“When I spoke to Jody Morris after a FA Youth Cup victory for Chelsea a couple of seasons ago, he touched on how good Reece James was. He was saying Callum Hudson-Odoi gets a lot of the plaudits, but Reece James is just unbelievable.
“So now he’s coming to fruition and I can see him kicking on and being in Chelsea’s team for the next 10 years or so and being a real mainstay.”