Paul Merson believes Chelsea would never have signed Croatian midfielder, Mateo Kovacic if they were able to make addition in the summer.
The two-window ban imposed upon the club by FIFA means that Frank Lampard will be unable to sign any new player until the nex summer transfer window.
Kovacic spent last campaign on loan from Spanish giants Real Madrid, however, the Blues were able to make his move a permanent one earlier this month as he has been the only option in this transfer window.
The Croatia international has played 32 Premier League appearances last campaign and has failed to score a goal register an assist and Merson feels he is only at Stamford Bridge to make up the numbers.
‘Do you think (Matteo) Kovacic would have signed for Chelsea without there being a transfer embargo?’ he told Sky Sports.
‘I don’t think he scored a goal and they’ve paid upwards of £40m. They’ve signed him because they need another body, surely?
‘It’s not all about this year, it’s a three-year contract, and as a Chelsea fan it feels like a good opportunity to steadily, steadily bring these players through.
‘One at a time, not bringing a four or five and then suddenly Chelsea are a mid-table team.’
Lampard is expected to offer the Blues impressive clutch of talented youngsters and opportunity to stake claims for regular first-team football. Mason Mount has been the latest name linked with an opportunity to play for the Blues next season as Lampard has been a huge fan of 20-year-old Englishman with who he has worked at Derby and he might fight with Kovacic for starting role at Stamford Bridge next season.