Chelsea’s transfer ban has been a “blessing in disguise”, says Glen Johnson, with the Blues “building bridges” that will see them in “a very good spot” once they are able to add again.
The Premier League giants were stung with a two-window embargo by FIFA for breaching rules regarding the registration of Under-18 players.
As things stand, no fresh faces can be welcomed to Stamford Bridge until the summer of 2020.
Fortunately for Frank Lampard, he already has plenty of talent at his disposal and one of the deepest squads around from which to select.
The Chelsea boss has made the most of that by dipping into a famed academy system and handing regular game time to a number of graduates, such as Tammy Abraham, Mason Mount and Fikayo Tomori.
Johnson believes that approach will serve the club well as long-term options are being put in place which can be complemented by ready-made signings once the club are freed to spend once more.
The former Blues defender told Betdaq: “If Chelsea can keep going as they are, they could easily break into the top four.
“I’ve always said if Frank Lampard could get them into the top six he’s done a fantastic job and with the way United and Spurs are going, he could do even better than that.
“Everything he’s doing this season is building bridges for the next couple of years, especially as they haven’t been able to add to their squad.
“If he can keep improving his players, this Chelsea side will be in a very good spot once the new faces are able to be brought in.
“The whole transfer ban could turn out to be a bit of a blessing in disguise as it’s forced the club to bring the likes of Mason Mount and Tammy Abraham through and, providing they keep going as they are, they look to have some potential stars on their hands.
“I’ve been really impressed with Abraham. I really didn’t think he could translate his form from the Championship to the Premier League, but he’s shown he’s more than up to it.
“There is such a huge difference between the two leagues, so to do what he’s done so soon into his Premier League career is very impressive.”
Abraham has netted eight Premier League goals in as many top-flight appearances this season.
He has also opened his account in the Champions League, with those efforts having allowed him to join club colleagues Mount and Tomori in the latest senior England squad.