Lampard Develops Interest In Cavani After Planned PSG Exit

This file photo taken on September 15, 2015 shows Uruguayan forward Edinson Cavani celebrating after scoring a goal during the UEFA Champions League group A football match between Paris Saint-Germain and Malmo at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris. JEAN-SEBASTIEN EVRARD / AFP

 

Uruguayan striker Edinson Cavani’s desire to leave Paris Saint-Germain has stoked the interest of Chelsea manager Frank Lampard, who has bemoaned his players’ lack of clinical finishing.

Tammy Abraham has scored 16 goals in all competitions this season but Lampard is aware that he needs support.

The 1-0 defeat by Newcastle on Saturday highlighted a lack of ruthlessness in front of goal with defeat preventing Chelsea from extending their advantage over their rivals for a Champions League place.

Fourth-placed Chelsea play Arsenal on Tuesday and are presently five points clear of Manchester United and Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Arsenal are 10 points adrift of their London rivals.

Cavani is PSG’s record goalscorer with 198 but the 116-times capped striker told the board he wanted to leave for Atletico Madrid having fallen behind Mauro Icardi in the pecking order this season.

However, Lampard said he would be interested in a striker of the 32-year-old’s class when he was told at the eve of match press conference of  Cavani’s desire to leave PSG.

“He’s a great player,” said Lampard of Cavani.

“I played against him and I always loved his mentality and attitude, and obviously his goal-scoring record speaks for itself.

“I’m not absolutely aware of what the situation is, so we’ll see.

“The idea of bringing in experience is something I’m certainly not absolutely looking away from.

“Because sometimes the young players need a little bit of help, and if that’s the case then that may help us.”

Lampard denied that defeat by Newcastle made it all the more urgent he delve into the transfer market.

“I don’t think Newcastle hastens anything, it’s just we couldn’t do any business in the summer window,” said Lampard referring to the FIFA transfer ban which has now been lifted but which existed in the close season.

“At this point, it’s something (lack of accurate finishing) we’ve seen as a bit of a problem in our home games.

“So we’ve got to work hard with the group here, and then if we can improve in terms of goal scoring, it’s for sure something we have to look at.”

AFP

‘I Am Not Mourinho’s Clone,’Says Lampard

 

Chelsea’s English head coach Frank Lampard , 2019. OZAN KOSE / AFP

 

Frank Lampard insists he doesn’t want to emulate Jose Mourinho’s unique style as the Chelsea manager plots to out-wit his old boss in Sunday’s crucial clash at Tottenham.

Lampard’s first Premier League meeting with Mourinho is the headline act in a fascinating derby that will determine which of the London rivals spends Christmas Day in the top four.

Spurs manager Mourinho played a key role in Lampard’s emergence as one of Chelsea’s all-time greats during their time together at Stamford Bridge.

Yet while Mourinho’s managerial credentials are well established after winning a host of trophies during his glittering 19-year career, Lampard is still carving out a name for himself in the coaching world.

The former England midfielder is in just his second season as a manager after leaving Championship side Derby to take charge at Chelsea in July.

Lampard acknowledges Mourinho was a big influence on him as a player but, now he is in the dug-out, he will follow his own path rather than copy the Portuguese coach.

Asked to name the most important lesson he took from working with Mourinho, Lampard said: “There’s not one thing, no; he’s obviously a good manager with loads of good attributes.

“But there’s not one specific thing I learned working under him, and I wouldn’t strive to be a clone or anything.

“I’m happy to go up against Jose; for me to play under him, he was a big influence in my career.”

Lampard and Mourinho remain on good terms from their Chelsea days — the Tottenham manager promising a “big hug” when they meet before kick-off and talking of his “love” for the 41-year-old.

But that didn’t stop the student admitting beating his old teacher in such an important game would be a memorable moment.

READ ALSO:I Am 100% Tottenham,’Says Mourinho Ahead Of Chelsea Clash

– ‘Every point is crucial’ –

Chelsea were 12 points ahead of Tottenham when Mourinho replaced the sacked Mauricio Pochettino in November.

That gap is now down to just three after Mourinho masterminded an immediate Tottenham revival with four wins from his five league games.

In contrast, Chelsea are experiencing the first major blip of Lampard’s reign after four defeats in their last five league matches.

“To go up against him for Derby against Manchester United last year was a big deal for me. And that still remains,” said Lampard in reference to last season’s win over Mourinho when they met in the League Cup third round.

“I’ll always have respect for him. The bigger thing is Chelsea-Tottenham, and what that rivalry means to our players and us.

Lampard won two league titles with Mourinho at Chelsea, but they are managerial peers now and the former England star recognises his old boss has a squad capable of denting his ambitions by knocking the Blues out of the top four.

“It should be relatively even when you look at the last four years, where Chelsea and Tottenham have been fighting to get into the top four. It’s always a competitive fixture,” Lampard said.

Mourinho’s impact at Tottenham has surprised some who claimed he was finished as a top manager after his last two jobs with Chelsea and United ended in acrimonious circumstances.

But the 56-year-old never doubted his ability to Tottenham back on track and now he wants to underline their resurgence with a statement win against Chelsea.

“When we arrived we were 12 points distance, we were closer to the bottom than the top,” Mourinho said.

“But of course we knew where we belong and we knew it was a question of time to leave this awful position and to have an approach.

“We know we can end this year in the top four. But this is not just between us and Chelsea. Manchester United are involved, Wolves are involved. Every point is crucial.”

AFP

Lampard Hints At Striking Reinforcements In January Transfer Window

Chelsea’s English head coach Frank Lampard watches from the touchline during the UEFA Champion’s League Group H football match between Chelsea and Lille at Stamford Bridge in London on December 10, 2019. Glyn KIRK / AFP

 

Chelsea manager Frank Lampard hinted he could dip into the transfer market next month to strengthen his attacking options after they secured their place in the Champions League last 16.

The club’s FIFA-imposed transfer ban was last week reduced on appeal by the Court of Arbitration for Sport, meaning they are free to sign players again.

Tuesday’s 2-1 win over Lille, courtesy of goals form Tammy Abraham and Cesar Azpilicueta, sent the Blues through as runners-up to Valencia but Lampard bemoaned his side’s poor chance-conversion rate.

The victory followed a run of just one win from five matches in all competitions, including a 3-1 defeat to struggling Everton at the weekend, after a bright start to the season.

Jadon Sancho and Wilfried Zaha have been linked with moves to Stamford Bridge in recent weeks and Lampard said he was considering his options.

“I will look at all areas of the team but I think it was quite clear in the summer that you lose Eden Hazard, who was a huge part of scoring or creating our goals last season and the season before that,” he said.

“I think we’ve found ways as a team where we can still be competitive. We’ve shown that in the league and now the Champions League.

“But going forward if we’re looking at if we can get even better. Can we get better in forward areas to help competition to help the idea of being more clinical, then I think we’ll always look at that.”

Lampard said he was “calm” about the transfer window despite recent poor results.

“We are improving and even the little bumps during the last two weeks are part of the process and we don’t see so much in January that you can do great business,” he said.

“If it is there to be done and it feels like it is right for the club that is a conversation for me and upstairs, but I am very calm with January.”

The draw for the Champions League round of 16 will take place on Monday and Chelsea could face old manager Maurizio Sarri, now in charge of Juventus.

Other possible opponents include Paris Saint-Germain, Bayern Munich, Barcelona and RB Leipzig.

AFP

Lampard Challenges Young Chelsea Players To Step Up

Chelsea’s English head coach Frank Lampard sets out markers for a training session at Chelsea’s Cobham training facility in Stoke D’Abernon, southwest of London on December 9, 2019, on the eve of their UEFA Champions League Group H football match against Lille. Glyn KIRK / AFP

 

Frank Lampard has challenged his young Chelsea players to “make a mark” ahead of their crucial Champions League match against Lille on Tuesday after a series of poor results took the shine off their season.

Chelsea must beat the French side at Stamford Bridge to ensure safe passage to the knockout stages, with manager Lampard expecting far sharper focus than his players showed during the 3-1 weekend defeat to Everton.

He admitted Chelsea’s recent poor form — just one win in five games — was his first big challenge as Blues boss, and wants his players to embrace the pressure of this week’s must-win clash.

“It is a test for us and it was always going to come,” Lampard said during his pre-match press conference on Monday.

“The way we are, the nature of the Premier League, this was never going to be a plain sailing, invincible season from our point of view. Teams need this test.

“Big games like this, they are crucial for the players. You can be defined as an individual and a group by success.”

Lampard, who won the Champions League with Chelsea in 2012, said he had been fortunate to have enjoyed many big nights as a player.

“So these are big opportunities now for the team, particularly the young boys when it’s quite new to them, to make a mark,” he said. “So I think it’s good, I like the pressure of this game being knockout.

“If we’re going to do anything good here, we’re going to have to have lots of these nights.”

Lampard said his side’s poor run had not yet altered his view on January recruitment plans after the club’s FIFA transfer ban had been lifted.

“I wouldn’t say my mind is set on anything to be changed,” said Lampard, whose side are fourth in the Premier League despite their wobble.

“But you do learn from your players in tough times, not just in terms of what they do on the pitch but how their personality is.

“That was the disappointing thing at Everton. It wasn’t just that we were slightly off — I didn’t like that there were individual contact moments across the game that we lost. Because that’s a personality thing as much as anything else.”

Antonio Rudiger is fit for just his second appearance of the season following groin trouble, with the Germany centre-back likely to step into the Blues’ defence.

Lampard believes Rudiger can make an instant impact, with the 26-year-old’s return proving timely as Fikayo Tomori misses out due to a minor hip issue.

“He’s a good defender, it’s good to have him back and he’s training really well,” said Lampard, of Rudiger.

“He has got a lot of his fitness work done since the injury’s healed.

“People maybe overlooked the fact that we were missing a number of big players at the start of the season. Rudi is just back, so let’s see what he can add to us now.”

AFP

Chelsea To Look For New Signings In January

Last-Gasp Goal Gives Lampard Winning Start With Derby
Chelsea Manager Frank Lampard/AFP

 

Chelsea manager Frank Lampard admitted the club will be on the lookout for new faces in the January window after a FIFA-imposed transfer ban was reduced on appeal by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) on Friday.

The ban, imposed following violations in the recruitment of minors, was reduced from two transfer windows to one, which Chelsea already served in the summer.

A fine was also reduced from 600,000 Swiss francs ($607,000; £462,000) to half that amount by the Lausanne-based court.

Lampard insisted he had not yet had any conversations with Chelsea’s board about transfer plans, but will start them now in earnest.

“It’s a positive outcome for us. It allows us the potential to look at the market going forward,” Lampard said at a press conference ahead of Saturday’s Premier League trip to Everton.

“So I’m pleased from a footballing level. It was never my business to get involved in the reasons why or the legal side of it.

“So from my point of view, for the club moving forward, it’s obviously a good thing.”

A CAS statement explaining their decision said that Chelsea were guilty of violating rules related to the international transfer and registration of minors, “but for a significantly smaller number of players”, concluding that they were only guilty of one third of the violations found by FIFA.

In addition, the breaches of other transfer rules “were found to be less serious than those attributed to Chelsea FC by FIFA”.

The initial ban was announced by football’s world governing body in February, but Chelsea had always denied wrongdoing.

It followed a FIFA probe into Chelsea’s signing of foreign under-18 players, including the club’s former forward Bertrand Traore, a Burkina Faso international who now plays for French Ligue 1 club Lyon.

Traore signed professional forms for Chelsea in 2013 at the age of 18 but was not registered until January the following year.

At first they appealed to FIFA who partially lifted the ban in April, although only for players under 16 who are not “international transfers and first registrations of foreign minor players”.

That left Chelsea still unable to sign players over 16 during the summer transfer window.

‘Important we get it right’ 

Chelsea had been eager to have the ban lifted at the time, or at least suspended pending an appeal, so they could be in a position to sign a replacement for Eden Hazard, who was sold to Real Madrid.

Nevertheless, in the absence of new recruits, Lampard has enjoyed success promoting several members of the club’s youth academy to the first team.

Centre-back Fikayo Tomori, midfielder Mason Mount and striker Tammy Abraham have all returned from loan spells to become regulars, their form leading to England call-ups. Abraham is Chelsea’s top scorer with 12 goals this season.

Young full-back Reece James has also broken into the first team, while USA winger Christian Pulisic remains the last new signing brought to the club after being signed from Borussia Dortmund for £58 million ($74 million) last January.

Chelsea are currently fourth in the Premier League and Lampard admitted the club would need to be careful with their recruitment policy.

“The fact people have given us credit is that people expected less of us, so we have to give credit to the group that are working now,” he said.

“I still want more, I still feel we could have more points and be higher up the table, that’s my feeling. As we go forward of course if I feel there are positions we can strengthen then we will obviously look at that, as all big clubs do.

“That’s why people expected less of us this season, because lots of clubs around us and below us were spending £100 million and we didn’t have that chance, and we lost Eden Hazard and two number nines.

“Now the picture’s slightly changed and it’s important that we get it right moving forward.”

AFP

Court To Determine Chelsea Transfer Ban Fate Soon, Says Lampard

 

Frank Lampard expects to find out “very soon” whether Chelsea will be free to make any January signings, with the club waiting to learn the outcome of their FIFA transfer ban appeal.

Chelsea’s appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) was heard last month, with the Blues contesting FIFA’s two-window ban relating to the recruitment of minors.

When asked when he expects to discover the result of that appeal, Lampard replied: “Very soon I believe. Days, I think.

“I haven’t heard any more, so I would wait and reserve judgement (on Chelsea’s plans for January) until we get the judgement and see where we want to go from there.”

Fourth-placed Chelsea will give Tammy Abraham “every possible chance” to face Aston Villa on Wednesday as the England striker recovers from a hip injury.

Lampard admitted the 22-year-old, who has scored 10 Premier League goals this season, is still battling pain from the problem he picked up in the 2-2 Champions League draw at Valencia.

“We’re giving him every possible chance to be fit,” said the Chelsea boss, whose side have lost their past two league matches after a fine run.

“He’s still got some pain in the area of the injury. (We will) make a judgement tomorrow. It’s painful for him, so it’s a pain threshold and whether it affects his movements. So I wouldn’t want to commit today.”

Olivier Giroud, who led the line in last weekend’s 1-0 defeat at West Ham, and Belgium’s Michy Batshuayi are continuing to press their claims up front, while US forward Christian Pulisic could operate as a false nine in Abraham’s absence.

Admitting the challenge of keeping his other strikers focused and happy given Abraham’s form, Lampard said: “Yes, in the modern day every manager wants to have that situation.”

“They are training well, supporting the group with a smile on their face and they are happy when we win,” he added. “They are determined to help if we don’t, whether they are starting or not.

“Those are the rules of modern football. Of course, it is a challenge and everyone is a human and they want to play every week. So I have to be aware of that at the same time.”

AFP

Kane Hopes Mourinho Can End Tottenham Trophy Drought

A file photo of Tottenham Hotspur’s Portuguese manager Jose Mourinho. Ian KINGTON / AFP

 

 

Harry Kane hopes ‘proven winner’ Jose Mourinho can deliver the trophies that Tottenham crave after taking over as manager from Mauricio Pochettino.

The Portuguese, back in the game after 11 months out, led his new club to a 3-2 win at West Ham on Saturday — their first Premier League away win since January.

Kane was a staunch supporter of Pochettino, crediting him with making him into one of the top strikers in the world, and visited the Argentine at his home after his dismissal.

“It’s a week I’ve never really had in my career before,” said the England captain.

“It was a big shock on Tuesday night for everyone, the players included, and then it was a quick turnaround.

“All of a sudden we’ve got a new manager, one of the best managers there’s been in the game, so automatically you have to turn your head towards that and focus on the game.”

Pochettino, who took Spurs to the Champions League final in June, ended his five-and-a-half-year stint with no silverware.

Kane has expressed his desire to win trophies at Spurs and is hoping that Mourinho, a former boss of Chelsea and Manchester United, can help him achieve his goals.

“The gaffer’s won at every club he’s gone to — there’s no hiding away from that,” Kane said.

“He wants to win. He’s a proven winner. I’ve made it clear that I’m at the stage of my career where I want to win trophies.

“I’ve made it clear I want to win them here and it’s a big year for us.”

Kane said Mourinho’s reputation for winning silverware gave the players confidence.

“It’s almost a fresh slate for everyone now to show the manager what they can do and hopefully the players can thrive on that,” he said.

Midfielder Eric Dier said the players were lucky to be able to work under Mourinho, whom he called the “perfect” replacement for Pochettino.

“His record is unbelievable and he transmits that confidence. The way he speaks, you believe it, you feel it from him,” Dier said.

AFP

Chelsea Will Take Confidence From City Loss, Says Lampard

 

Chelsea’s English head coach Frank Lampard. Oli SCARFF / AFP

 

Frank Lampard believes he will learn a lot about his young Chelsea side from how they react to their defeat at Manchester City.

Chelsea’s six-game winning run came to an end as they were beaten 2-1 by the Premier League champions at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday.

It is a measure of the London club’s progress under new boss Lampard, who has had to rely on youth due to a transfer embargo, that losing to a side that won the domestic treble last season is considered a disappointment.

“Experiences like this are great for them,” said Lampard. “They have to take them on the chin in terms of the defeat but also realise these are the kinds of levels we want to get to.

“The feeling in the dressing room — it looked like they are very disappointed. They expect a lot of themselves, so I think we will take an amount of confidence.

“Where we want to get to means we might come here and win (in future) and it might mean we can win titles, and win going forward, so I like seeing them disappointed.

“I think that that just shows the next question is the reaction we have.”

Chelsea had gone into the game above City in the table and they took an early lead through N’Golo Kante before goals from Kevin De Bruyne and Riyad Mahrez won it for the hosts.

Lampard admits his side are probably exceeding expectations this term but has warned against complacency.

The former Chelsea and England midfielder said: “It is hard to explain my expectation at the start of the season.

“Until you have worked daily with the players, until you bring players who were playing in the Championship last season and younger players here, you don’t know exactly how it is going to drop and how it ends up.

“So, (I’m) really happy with a lot of our stuff this season, so maybe that means we are slightly ahead of the curve.

“But in football the curve will go downhill very fast if you don’t keep on yourself and take a lot of the lessons from Saturday and take them on moving forward.”

Lampard Rules Out Managing Spurs After Mourinho Appointment

Chelsea’s English head coach Frank Lampard attends a training session ahead of the UEFA Super Cup 2019 football match between Liverpool and Chelsea at Besiktas Park stadium in Istanbul on August 13, 2019.
Ozan KOSE / AFP

 

Chelsea boss Frank Lampard says he will never follow Jose Mourinho’s lead and manage London rivals Tottenham.

Meanwhile, Andre Villas-Boas, who coached both clubs, called the partnership between Mourinho and Spurs chairman Daniel Levy an “unusual marriage”.

Mauricio Pochettino was sacked this week and two-time Chelsea boss Mourinho jumped straight into the hot seat at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

When asked if he could ever envisage managing the north London outfit, Lampard replied: “I can firmly say ‘no’, and you can replay that again in 10 years. It wouldn’t happen but I think things are different for me.”

READ ALSO: Mourinho Seeks ‘Quick Fix’ To Win Over Tottenham Doubters

Lampard, who played under Mourinho at Stamford Bridge, added: “I was here for 13 years as a player and have an absolutely deep feeling for a club.

“Chelsea is certainly so close to my heart, hence why I am so proud to manage the club and why I wouldn’t manage Tottenham.

“That’s no disrespect to anyone, it’s just because of what Chelsea has given me over my time as a player and now, it’s certainly not on my list.”

Asked if he was surprised Mourinho took the helm at Tottenham, Lampard said: “That’s only his decision, and you make that decision as you go.

“He’s managed a lot of football clubs and that’s what happens. If fans judge you that’s out of your hands. As a professional, you have to understand the right to work.”

Winner Mourinho

Marseille boss Villas-Boas also expressed reservations about his mentor Mourinho working for Levy.

“They are two characters,” he said. “I don’t think it will work very well, but if a coach in the world can make Tottenham win, it is Jose, wherever he has gone he has won.”

“He goes to a club and his owner whom I know well,” said Villas-Boas.

“So yes, it’s short-term, but it’s contrary to Tottenham’s philosophy. It’s expensive. For Levy, all men are numbers, but with Jose, they’re high numbers…”

Villas-Boas worked as an assistant to Mourinho at Porto and then Inter Milan and said he was “very happy” his former boss was coaching again because he “cannot go 11 months without a club. Some take a sabbatical year, like me, but with Jose that’s not the case.

“Jose is obsessed with football, I hope he will enjoy this special club.”

Lampard revealed he had sent Mourinho a good-luck message.

“We had a couple of messages just to wish him well in his new role as he has always done for me,” the 41-year-old said.

“I think history and results speak for themselves — the trophies, titles he’s managed to win at clubs, they are not surprises, they are for the hard work he’s put in. He’s done that consistently.”

For Chelsea’s visit to champions Manchester City in the Premier League on Saturday, Christian Pulisic is in contention, having returned to full training after a groin problem.

Callum Hudson-Odoi has a hamstring issue and is a long-shot to face Pep Guardiola’s side.

AFP

I Won’t Discuss Diving Issue With Hudson-Odoi, Lampard Says

Chelsea’s English midfielder Callum Hudson-Odoi (C) protests for a penalty to Referee Michael Oliver (L) during the English Premier League football match between Burnley and Chelsea at Turf Moor in Burnley, north west England on October 26, 2019. Oli SCARFF / AFP

 

Frank Lampard says he doesn’t need to warn Callum Hudson-Odoi to cut out diving after the Chelsea winger was booked at Burnley.

Hudson-Odoi was initially awarded a penalty when he tumbled in the Burnley area during Chelsea’s 4-2 win on Saturday.

But the England international was then booked for simulation after the decision was overturned by VAR.

Burnley boss Sean Dyche was critical of Hudson-Odoi, calling it “shambolic how people just dive all over the place”, while claiming it was worse because it involved a young player.

Yet Chelsea manager Lampard is adamant the 18-year-old did not dive, so he doesn’t need to discipline him over the issue.

“Nothing, I’ve said nothing. I didn’t feel the need to,” replied Lampard when asked what he had said to Hudson-Odoi.

“I asked him on the day of the game, straight afterwards, after my press, he said he got a touch.

“Clearly when you see it back from behind he gets a hand on his back. I know it’s light.

“I’m not saying it’s a definite penalty but it’s not (a dive). I’m not sure if Sean had maybe watched it back and all the angles when he spoke because it wasn’t a dive as such.

“If that becomes a dive you will start analysing every bit of contact. That is the game, those are the grey areas. It was nowhere near a clear cut issue.”

Referee Michael Oliver changed his penalty decision at Burnley following advice from the video assistant referee.

On-field officials have so far been reluctant to use pitch-side monitors to aid their rulings, opting to rely solely on the judgements of their colleagues.

Lampard would like to see that change and he said: “It’s part of VAR and I assumed when it came in to the Premier League that would be the case. I think we’re at the point now where, from my point of view, they have to.

“It’s difficult. I’m not one to bang the drum, it’s not easy. Even with VAR there is an element of a human involved because they are the ones checking it and it’s slightly opinionated.

“Hopefully we find the right middle ground as soon as possible and I think seeing a monitor on the side of the pitch is a way forward.”

Chelsea are on a run of seven wins in all competitions heading into Wednesday’s League Cup tie against Manchester United at Stamford Bridge.

Lampard’s Chelsea reign began with a 4-0 defeat at Old Trafford in August, but that result will have little bearing on his team talk.

“I’ve said nothing about that, it feels like a million miles away, gone,” Lampard said.

“I don’t think the context of that is going to be hugely relevant tomorrow night.”

AFP

Lampard Backs Abraham To Score For England

 

Frank Lampard has backed Tammy Abraham to score regularly for England after his impressive start to the season for Chelsea was rewarded with a call-up to the national squad.

The 22-year-old was named in Gareth Southgate’s squad for this month’s Euro 2020 qualifiers in the Czech Republic and Bulgaria alongside Blues teammates Ross Barkley, Mason Mount and Fikayo Tomori on Thursday.

Abraham has eight goals in 10 appearances this season and Chelsea manager Lampard is pleased to see him back in the England squad after two previous friendly appearances in 2017.

“Everyone knows his form’s really good. I think he’s been in the equation probably for Gareth all season because of how he’s played and it’s a natural progression for him,” Lampard said at his pre-match press conference on Friday.

“I’m delighted for him. I know he’s a proud lad, as he should be proud to get a call-up.”

Abraham had flirted with switching his international allegiance to Nigeria, a country he qualifies for through his father, but will be committed to England if he appears in either forthcoming qualifier.

Lampard, whose Chelsea side travel to Southampton on Sunday, was cautious not to load too much pressure on the young forward’s shoulders.

“I think he has all the attributes to go there and be successful but it will be another step for him and I’m sure he has those attributes. I’m sure he has the attitude to take that challenge of being a goalscorer for England,” he said.

“And there’s competition there. When he steps into the squad he’ll see that there are great strikers in that squad already around him so it’s a good challenge for Tammy.”

While Abraham’s selection was expected, especially with the forward eligible for Nigeria, the inclusion of 21-year-old defender Tomori was more of a surprise.

Lampard, who was Derby boss last season, described the former Derby loanee as a “dream to work with” during the past 15 months they have spent together.

“It’s a great step up and it’s in his hands to go there and show what he shows us every day,” he said.

AFP

Tammy Abraham, Fikayo Tomori Earn England Squad Call-Ups

Chelsea’s English striker Tammy Abraham (R) celebrates with Fikayo Tomori after scoring his team’s first goal during the UEFA Champions League Group H football match between Lille and Chelsea, on October 02, 2019 at the Pierre Mauroy stadium, in Lille, France. PHOTO: FRANCOIS LO PRESTI / AFP

 

Chelsea’s Tammy Abraham and Fikayo Tomori were rewarded for a fine start to the season under Frank Lampard with a call-up to the England squad on Thursday for Euro 2020 qualifiers against the Czech Republic and Bulgaria.

Abraham, who has won two caps for the Three Lions before in friendlies against Brazil and Germany in 2017, had flirted with switching his international allegiance to Nigeria, who he qualifies for through his father.

However, the 22-year-old, who scored his first Champions League goal for the Blues in a 2-1 win in Lille on Wednesday, now looks set to declare for England.

Abraham has scored seven times in seven Premier League games so far this season.

Tomori has also shone at centre-back for Chelsea after playing under Lampard on loan at Derby last season.

The emergence of a host of young players, though, has come at the expense of some of the stars of a run to the World Cup semi-finals 15 months ago.

Jesse Lingard, Dele Alli and Kyle Walker have all been left out.

The Three Lions travel to face the Czech Republic in Prague on October 11 before a trip to Sofia to take on Bulgaria four days later.

England are in a commanding position to qualify for next year’s European championships after winning all four of their opening qualifers.

Squad in full:

Goalkeepers: Nick Pope (Burnley), Tom Heaton (Aston Villa), Jordan Pickford (Everton)

Defenders: Trent Alexander-Arnold, Joe Gomez (both Liverpool), Ben Chilwell (Leicester City), Michael Keane (Everton), Harry Maguire (Manchester United), Danny Rose (Tottenham), Tyrone Mings (Aston Villa), Kieran Trippier (Atletico Madrid/ESP), Fikayo Tomori (Chelsea)

Midfielders: Ross Barkley, Mason Mount (both Chelsea), Jordan Henderson, Declan Rice (West Ham), Harry Winks (Tottenham), James Maddison (Leicester), Fabian Delph (Everton)

Forwards: Tammy Abraham (Chelsea), Harry Kane (Tottenham), Marcus Rashford, (Manchester United), Jadon Sancho (Borussia Dortmund/GER), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), Callum Wilson (Bournemouth).

AFP