West Ham Defeat Shows Defenders (Not Havertz) Are Chelsea's Real Priority

Cesar Azpilicueta, Frank Lampard
Chelsea's defensive struggles are becoming too serious | Michael Regan/Getty Images

Chelsea don't score enough goals. Their 58 big chances missed is second only to Manchester City's 67 in the Premier League, while their tally of 532 shots is the second-highest in the league as well.

To address that, Frank Lampard has already signed Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech - two of Europe's best when it comes to scoring and creating goals respectively.

There's even talk of a blockbuster move for Bayer Leverkusen's Kai Havertz, which would, of course, be amazing. He's one of the best young stars in the world and would take Chelsea's attack to the next level.

Kai Havertz
Kai Havertz is a £75m target for Chelsea | Pool/Getty Images

But that all means nothing if the Blues still can't stop conceding goals.

Wednesday's 3-2 defeat at the hands of West Ham United was nothing short of abysmal. At the defensive end of the pitch, Chelsea got pretty much everything wrong.

César Azpilicueta, who needed VAR to get away with some shoddy defending in the first half, made exactly the same mistake soon after as he allowed the towering Tomáš Souček to bully him from a corner for the Hammers' opening goal.

Where was the leadership? Did nobody - Azpilicueta included - feel it was worth pointing out that he was no match for Souček's physicality?

Losing the physical battle isn't the biggest problem. You can't expect a full-back to square up to an enormous midfielder. However, surely someone taller should have taken control of Souček after seeing Azpilicueta get mauled first time around.

For the second goal, neither Andreas Christensen nor Antonio Rüdiger were anywhere to be seen, and the third goal was a comedy of errors.

Why did Marcos Alonso not run back? Why was Rüdiger all alone? How did Andriy Yarmolenko get past the German with one simple cut inside? Why am I still crying?

In attack, Christian Pulisic was excellent and Willian chimed in with an impressive free kick, but their hard work was undone as the defenders decided to take the night off - a theme which has plagued Chelsea's season.

Title-winning sides don't concede three against West Ham, or two against Southampton, or let Newcastle and Bournemouth score from their only real forays into the opposition half.

Andreas Christensen, Antonio Rudiger
Andreas Christensen & Antonio Rudiger were humiliated by Michail Antonio | Michael Regan/Getty Images

Werner, Ziyech and Havertz might help Chelsea score nine goals in every game next season, but this defence could still concede ten. Without significant improvement at the back, this Chelsea side will never compete.

Having already signed Werner and Ziyech, the money pool is drying up. There's only a finite amount left, and signing Havertz would surely drain it. He'd make Chelsea's already-impressive attack even better, but the defence would stay the same.

In terms of fixing this defence, it feels like a new left-back and centre-back are musts, and let's not forget about the need to improve in goal. If Kepa Arrizabalaga can't sort his hands out, he needs replacing too.

That whole haul could cost well over £75m, so as much as it hurts to say it, signing Havertz simply cannot be Chelsea's priority.

Dutch Eredivisie"SC Heerenveen v Ajax Amsterdam"
Nicolas Tagliafico is on Chelsea's radar | ANP Sport/Getty Images

Nicolás Tagliafico would cost £22m. André Onana could be £35m. That's two major upgrades, and there's still a little money left over for a surely needed centre-back - especially if more fringe players can be sold. It can be done, but only with strategic preparation.

Scoring goals makes for fun viewing, and signing Havertz would make Chelsea a scary attacking unit, but until Lampard can sort out his side's defensive woes, they will still be viewed as a laughing stock by far too many around Europe.

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