SIGNING Timo Werner is a huge statement from Chelsea — but it would be a kick in the teeth not to make the top four now.
Along with Hakim Ziyech, they have got two big-hitters through the door before the transfer window has opened.
I am certain there will be more to come, too, with Ben Chilwell also on their radar.
But these players will all be expecting to play in the Champions League next season, so it’s imperative they get the job done.
With a three-point cushion in fourth it would be a real anti-climax if they didn’t, considering the talent on the way in.
Whether they do make it or not, Frank Lampard’s squad is looking in great shape.
And in Werner, they’ve got someone who a lot of other top teams in Europe wanted.
At 24, he’s the perfect age, his international career is taking off, and he will without a doubt add something special.
His record at RB Leipzig is brilliant and he looked like he’d never been away after coming back and scoring a hat-trick against Mainz to take him past 30 goals this season.
But he’s no one-season wonder, having scored more than 20 goals in all competitions in three of the last four campaigns.
With pace to burn alongside an eye for goal, Werner is comfortable anywhere across the front three, with his trademark coming in off the left to strike.
At £54million, it’s a lot of money considering the climate we are now in and they will have to pay him a big salary.
With Ziyech too — we saw what he can do when Ajax reached the Champions League semi-final last year — Frank has some great options now.
Tammy Abraham has adapted really well in his first full season at Chelsea, so Werner doesn’t have to play as the main striker.
To go alongside some brilliant English youngsters — who I’m sure Frank will stick with — there is a very exciting team being assembled at Stamford Bridge.
Because of how he spoke at the time, we all knew how disappointed Frank was at not bringing in any signings in January — particularly after fighting the transfer ban.
With the Eden Hazard money kept in the bank until now, owner Roman Abramovich has backed his man.
And Chelsea may even look back and say that the ban worked in their favour.
Frank ended up getting the job when he may not have done otherwise, then having to shuffle his pack and play a lot of the youngsters.
If they were able to splash the cash, then the likes of 21-year-old Mason Mount, Reece James just 20, and Fikayo Tomori and Abraham — both 22 — might not have had as many opportunities.
It’s no surprise to me to see young, exciting talent across the world wanting to work under Frank.
After doing well at Derby, he’s had a very good start to life at Chelsea.And given the circumstances — losing Hazard, not being able to spend last summer, making no January signings — finishing in the Premier League’s top four would cap a great first year.
The way they are going, I doubt very much that Werner will be their last signing.
Given the situation football finds itself in, there are going to be clubs that are going to have to cut their cloth accordingly, cashing in on their assets.
On the other side, though, certain clubs are not going to be stopped from spending.
Chelsea are the first to strike and it will be fascinating to see how others respond.
All of a sudden they look in great shape, which is why it couldn’t be more important to seal that top-four place.
If they do, Chelsea’s future looks very bright indeed.
Whether they have it in them to chase down Liverpool and Manchester City next season remains to be seen — but they certainly have the players now to close the gap.