Premier League Preview: Brighton and Hove Albion v Chelsea

Roman Abramovich has allowed Frank Lampard to flex his transfer muscles this summer, with over £200m worth of talent rocking up at Stamford Bridge.

However despite the excitement of his new players, Lampard can only call on half of his new signings, with Ben Chilwell and Thiago Silva both sidelined.

Cesar Azpilicueta and Christian Pulisic should both be fit after picking up injuries in the FA Cup final, but Croatian international Mateo Kovacic is banned after being sent off against the Gunners.

With the visitors throwing money around in recent weeks, Brighton’s summer spending pales in comparison, with Graham Potter spending less than £2m in fees.

England international Adam Lallana will add some experience to Potter’s side following the exit of Aaron Mooy.

But after a low-key summer on the south coast, the biggest news for Potter has been tying Ben White to a new long-term contract at the club.

The 22-year old returned to the AMEX after a brilliant loan spell at Leeds last season he’s expected to replace Shane Duffy at centre back this season.

It’s a late one for both sets of fans tomorrow night, with an 8.15pm kick off at the AMEX Stadium.

Kai Havertz Completes Chelsea Transfer

The 21-year-old has been on the brink of a move to Chelsea for some time, and now Leverkusen have given him the green light to complete his switch.

Havertz’s move should now represent a new club record transfer for the Blues, with a fee possibly rising as high as £90million including add-ons.

Leverkusen and Germany have granted Havertz permission to leave the national team to complete the formalities on his long-mooted Premier League move.

“Kai Havertz has left the Stuttgart headquarters of the German national team to clarify matters surrounding a potential move to Chelsea,” Leverkusen confirmed.

“This took place after a discussion with Bayer 04 and DFB leadership.”

Havertz is now due to have a medical in London, and is in line to become Chelsea’s sixth senior signing of the summer.

The highly-rated forward should also command a new record fee for a Chelsea signing, eclipsing the £71million paid for goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga.

Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich has underpinned a hugely-impressive transfer window for the Blues, with manager Frank Lampard backed to launch a new Stamford Bridge era.

Germany striker Timo Werner, Ajax playmaker Hakim Ziyech and Leicester’s England left-back Ben Chilwell are all further big-money arrivals in west London.

France Under-21 defender Malang Sarr has signed on a free transfer and will head out on loan but boasts huge promise, while Brazil stalwart Thiago Silva has arrived from Paris St Germain.

Chelsea’s summer spending will move past £200million should Havertz complete his switch without any issues.

The Blues have battled past their transfer ban and losing talisman Eden Hazard to Real Madrid last summer, with Lampard impressing in a challenging first year at the helm.

Former England and Chelsea midfielder Lampard secured a fourth-place Premier League finish and Champions League qualification, and has now received significant backing for his Stamford Bridge squad overhaul.

Leverkusen sporting director Rudi Voller thanked Germany’s bosses for allowing Havertz to leave the national camp in the middle of Nations League action.

“I exchanged ideas with Oliver Bierhoff and Jogi Low over the past few days,” said Voller.

“They understand the special situation of the player and also of us as a club.

“We are grateful to the national coach that Kai can now sort things out with our support on site in London.”

Chelsea directors pleased with Lampard

Lampard steered Chelsea to a fourth-place Premier League finish to secure Champions League qualification, while the Blues also reached the FA Cup final albeit losing the Wembley showpiece to Arsenal.

Chairman Bruce Buck hailed Chelsea boss Lampard for sealing Champions League qualification, in a campaign where the Blues battled a transfer ban and blooded a host of young talents.

Former Chelsea midfielder Lampard has laid the foundations on a new Stamford Bridge era, leaving the club’s decision-makers impressed.

“In the round we think it was a very successful season,” Buck told the PA news agency.

“I think obviously we would have been a little bit happier if we had won the FA Cup.

“But I’m sure the manager and the players were gutted not to lift the trophy.”

The seal of approval from the Chelsea board – and by extension owner Roman Abramovich – will buoy 42-year-old Lampard as he continues to plot his reshaping of the Blues playing squad.

Lampard has already hailed the addition of former Blues goalkeeper Petr Cech as technical advisor as key to his harmonious relationship with the Stamford Bridge board.

Cech and director Marina Granovskaia work closely with Lampard on Chelsea’s transfer strategy, and that has generated new-found synergy between the board and the footballing department.

Previous managers Maurizio Sarri and Antonio Conte had railed against the Chelsea board’s transfer strategy, but Lampard – with Cech’s help – has developed a far smoother process.

Chelsea have already sealed high-profile transfers for prolific Germany striker Timo Werner from RB Leipzig and Morocco assist king Hakim Ziyech from Ajax.

The Blues are fully intent on adding a clutch of further new recruits before next season, with the new Premier League campaign likely to start on September 12.

Saturday’s 4-1 thumping at Bayern Munich in the Champions League last-16 second leg ended the season on a frustrating note, but the Blues’ bosses are enthused by what lies ahead.

Before the FA Cup final Lampard described himself as a “big boy” and not in need of any word of support from the club’s board or owner.

But Lampard can be boosted by the board’s support, with Buck well aware of the former England midfielder’s clout.

Both Werner and Ziyech singled out Lampard as the chief reason for choosing to join Chelsea, and the Blues will hope to harness their young manager’s influence in future recruitment plans.

“Frank Lampard is a very positive force for Chelsea,” said Buck.

“He’s Chelsea through and through and that continues to show through. He carries a lot of credibility.

“It’s an exciting time for Chelsea.”