‘Chelsea need to build a Salah or De Bruyne’ – Former Blues stars held us as role models for current crop of forwards

Pat Nevin, who once graced the flanks at Stamford Bridge, admits that Frank Lampard needs to find a way of making his attackers more destructive

Chelsea once allowed Mohamed Salah and Kevin De Bruyne to slip through their net and, according to club legend Pat Nevin, are now in need of forwards of that ilk.

Two creative influences that have gone on to star in the Premier League for Liverpool and Manchester City respectively are considered to be among the very best in the business.

For former winger Nevin, Salah and De Bruyne sit within a talent bracket of “masters” when it comes to unlocking opposition defences.

Chelsea are considered to be short of those qualities at present, with a 1-0 defeat at Newcastle last time out proving as much.

Frank Lampard’s side dominated proceedings at St James’ Park but were left empty-handed after failing to find a way of slicing through the Magpies’ stubborn resistance.

The Blues do have a number of talented and promising attackers on their books, but nobody at Stamford Bridge can claim to stand alongside English football’s top schemers.

Nevin admits that is a problem Lampard needs to solve, telling Chelsea’s official website on the back of a frustrating afternoon on Tyneside: “It is of course easy to say but if you were Willian or Callum Hudson-Odoi, every time you got the ball there were two and sometimes three players to get beyond.

“There are very few players who can do that, especially in such confined spaces.

“This is the reason why our Premier League goals-for column is so far behind the likes of Liverpool and Manchester City. They have a raft of specialists for these exact situations.

“Both these teams come up against this problem even more often than we do but the likes of David Silva, Bernardo Silva, Kevin De Bruyne, Mo Salah and Riyad Mahrez are masters of finding solutions. They get past defenders either by dribbling or by intelligent, brilliant intricate passing and movement.

“It is early days still for our ‘new’ team, especially in comparison with the two league leaders, but if there were a raft of problems I would be more concerned for the long term.

“I am sure Frank and his team are working diligently right now to find the solution. Get that one sorted and we will be in a very good place.”

Chelsea remain fourth in the Premier League table despite coming unstuck against Newcastle and will get the chance to return to winning ways on home soil when London rivals Arsenal pay a visit to Stamford Bridge on Tuesday.