Blues legend Gianfranco Zola believes Chelsea’s revamped squad has the quality to join Liverpool and Manchester City at the Premier League’s top table.
Zola was part of Chelsea’s renaissance when he arrived at Stamford Bridge in 1996 among a influx of international stars.
The Italian ace believes this summer’s £200m-plus spending spree has been money well spent if Frank Lampard can mould his new recruits into a team.
“They have spent a lot of money and I believe they have spent it well because they have brought in quality players, young players so they have a big future in front of them,” he told Sky Sports.
“Now it will be blending them into the team that was already there and making a winning team because that is what is going to make the big difference.
He added: “Chelsea have a lot of young players in the squad and you can see something big and important coming up so I really hope this is going to happen.
“Competition is very strong as you can imagine, it’s not going to be easy to get to the level of Liverpool or Manchester City.
“Their platform is very high at the moment, but if they work well they have the quality in the team to also reach those levels.”
Among potential departures, Zola described Callum Hudson-Odoi as a player with rare qualities, but a talent that needed to be harnessed.
“When you are talking about a young player you are talking about how good he is and how good he can become and certainly Callum is one of those players who has huge potential,” he said.
“It will be down to him to keep working and improving, but in my opinion he has a bright future ahead of him because he has qualities not many players have.
“Now it is down to him to use those qualities in the best way.
“You don’t have to just work on your game, you have to work on yourself. This is the last step to becoming a big big player.”
But Zola suggested Jorginho’s style of play may not necessarily fit with Frank Lampard’s model.
“If you want to play possession football and you play a lot of passes there are not many as good as him around.
“If you asked Jorginho to cover 50 metres of the pitch and get all the balls back it’s going to be difficult so it depends on what you want.
“If you want to play a type of football for example that we used to play two years ago, he was so important for us.”