Former Liverpool midfielder Dietmar Hamann claims Chelsea are not “on the same level as Liverpool and Manchester City” and third place is the best they can hope for in the Premier League.
The Blues currently sit top of the league and are among the favourites for the title after winning the Champions League last season.
Their hopes received a boost when they landed former striker Romelu Lukaku in a £98million deal from Inter Milan in the summer.
But Hamann believes Thomas Tuchel’s side will still fall short of Liverpool and City in the title race.
“I don’t think they are on the same level as Liverpool and Manchester City,” he told Goal (via Sport Witness).
“You can win the Champions League if you don’t have the best team. But the championship you can’t. That’s why third place would be the highest of feelings for Chelsea.
“Thomas Tuchel also benefitted in the final from the madness Pep Guardiola put on, playing without a defensive midfielder.
“But they were 25 (editor’s note: it was 19) points behind Manchester City in the league last season and have also been taught a lesson by them recently.”
Meanwhile, former Chelsea defender Frank Leboeuf says he “expects more” from misfiring forward Timo Werner.
“Timo Werner started well when he first signed for Chelsea and he was scoring goals but suddenly he lost his confidence,” Leboeuf said.
“As a striker you should be scoring goals and not thinking about it, you should just be doing it and not worrying about if you miss the shot or where the goalkeeper is going to go, but if you have confidence you don’t wonder because you’re already sure, so you go for it and that’s exactly what he’s lacking right now.
“I feel pretty sad for him, he’s coming back a little bit and scoring a couple of goals but it’s going to be hard for him to fight Lukaku.
“Maybe there’s some room for him on the left side or the right side but it’s tough competition and you have a front line filled up with talented players like Havertz, Ziyech and Hudson-Odoi so it’s going to be complicated for him.
“He signed for a large amount of money and he has to prove that he’s worth it. I expect more from him, but I also expect more from Ziyech and Havertz.”