Chelsea cannot be considered Premier League title favourites, regardless of what Jurgen Klopp might think, says Mario Melchiot, with the Blues lacking the “ingredients” of Liverpool and Manchester City.
Frank Lampard has sought to address that issue by investing heavily in fresh faces at Stamford Bridge.
Value in big-money deals has been found, but a new-look outfit are still looking for the kind of consistency that has allowed domestic rivals to become so dominant over recent years.
Lampard has been eager to point out that his rebuilding project will take time and that Chelsea are looking to enjoy long-term success, rather than reap immediate rewards.
Liverpool boss Klopp has entered into mind games there, with the reigning champions claiming to view foes from west London as the most obvious threat to their crown.
Melchiot is not buying that, with the Reds still very much the team to beat in 2020-21, with Chelsea still a work in progress when it comes to challenging for the most prestigious of prizes.
The former Blues defender told Stadium Astro when asked if Lampard’s side are favourites this season:
“I don’t think so. I would love to say it. But if you look at Liverpool, they have the ingredients to win it again. I see them being up there to win it again, along with Manchester City.
“Do Chelsea want to be up there? Of course, but these [a 1-0 defeat at Everton] are the kind of games they have to win if they are going to compete.
“Do I expect them to be in top four? Yes, that’s normal – especially with the investment they have made and bringing so many talented players into the squad. But the important part is to take a bit of pressure off your team by saying others are great, so that’s clever from Klopp.”