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Havertz transfer is pivotal to Chelsea revival – but they’ll win nothing without a new defence and Rice must be priority

CHELSEA fans are eagerly awaiting confirmation of a deal to sign Kai Havertz from Bayer Leverkusen.

The German international is one of the hottest prospects in world football and is set to cost the Blues in excess of £70 million.

It is a high fee for a 21-year-old, but this is no ordinary 21-year-old.

Havertz has absolutely got it, and he will be pivotal to Frank Lampard’s attempt to close the gap on the likes of Liverpool and Manchester City.

Havertz has that ability to unlock defences with one pass, and not only does he bring the creativity to create goals against stubborn low block defences, he can also get on the score sheet himself more often than not.

His signing is essential, and Lampard knows it.

He often commented on a lack of finesse from his attackers last season, and Havertz will 100 per cent be arriving to help change that.

A lot like Lampard himself in his playing days, Havertz will arrive in the box from a midfield position in absolutely perfect timing.

But Chelsea’s problems don’t end with an attack having a lack of finesse – their defence was the leakiest inside the top ten in the Premier League.

Chelsea conceded 54 goals in the league – compare that to Liverpool who conceded just 33.

There was only three league places between the two.

Lampard needs to focus on two key areas at the back as soon as the Havertz deal is confirmed – he must sign a new centre-back, and a new goalkeeper.

Funds are not unlimited of course, and the general consensus is that once Havertz has signed, Lampard and Co will be focusing on selling players before making their next moves.

We all know that Chelsea need to sign a new left-back.

Ben Chilwell from Leicester City remains the priority and is largely expected to be the next move after Havertz.

But I believe Chelsea should prioritise a centre-back before any other player, after Havertz.

Some have said we should only focus on one or the other, but we absolutely must be focusing on both – Havertz – and the back line.

Chelsea are looking at Declan Rice for the centre-back area and he must become the next priority.

West Ham are reluctant to sell Rice, but Chelsea should place their energy into convincing them to sell.

If not Rice, then we should turn our attentions to Jose Gimenez from Atletico Madrid, or even Lewis Dunk from Brighton, who I rate highly.

After that, we turn to the goalkeeper position.

This might be a lot more difficult, and a lot depends on whether they can sell Kepa Arrizabalaga.

If we can’t, then we go and get a Ben Foster or an Andre Onana who will be the cheaper options.

But if we sell Kepa and manage to get a decent return, then let’s go all out for a Jan Oblak type world class keeper.

We know this isn’t FIFA though, and Chelsea will need to make some decent cash on player sales to pull these deals off.

But Chelsea are in a comfortable financial position and they can certainly make two or three of these deals happen this window.

You can follow Simon on Twitter @SiPhillipsSport

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