‘Nothing should be expected of Chelsea this season’ – Lack of additions makes life difficult for Lampard, says Leboeuf

The former Blues defender fears a top-four finish may prove beyond those at Stamford Bridge following two windows of no incoming transfers

Nothing should be expected of Chelsea this season, says Frank Leboeuf, with a lack of movement in the transfer market making it difficult for the Blues to secure a top-four finish.

Frank Lampard has been eager to relay a similar message insisting that, after operating under the constraints of a recruitment embargo when he arrived, his side always been “underdogs” for Champions League qualification.

Despite a strong first half of the season, inconsistency has been an issue of late, with Chelsea unable to cement their current fourth-placed standing.

They are now just four points clear of London rivals Tottenham, with the likes of Manchester United and Wolves a little further off the pace and Arsenal refusing to throw in the towel.

Leboeuf admits the Blues could be overtaken at some stage, with Lampard having been unable to bolster his ranks in January.

The former Chelsea defender told ESPN FC: “I have concerns, because you have to respect the other teams.

“They’re not going to give up, they’re going to try and catch [Chelsea].

“I’m happy with what Frank does, the work he has done so far and how the team plays.

“I’m happy with [Antonio] Rudiger coming back and scoring two goals [in a 2-2 draw at Leicester], because he’s going to help defensively too.

“But it’s possible that either Tottenham or Wolves or Man United come back to the race and overtake Chelsea at the end of the season.

“I don’t think we should be expecting anything from Chelsea this season because they didn’t recruit this summer, or during the winter market.

“It’s hard for Frank Lampard, it’s hard for the club, but it’s nice to see them fighting and still a force after a hard summer.

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“I’m confident they can still do it. It’s going to be hard, but I’m sure Chelsea can cope with the situation.”

The Blues have entered their winter break, with a well-earned rest being taken in before returning to Premier League action with a home date against Manchester United on February 17.

That outing will form part of a testing run for the Blues which will also see them play host to old adversaries Spurs and entertain Bayern Munich in the first leg of a heavyweight Champions League last-16 encounter.

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