Frank Lampard declared himself pleased with how pre-season is progressing following our latest summer friendly away at Reading on Sunday afternoon.
There was plenty for our new boss to be happy about as the Blues found their scoring boots in Berkshire, with Mason Mount’s second-half double a particular highlight alongside goals from Ross Barkley and Kenedy before the break.
The visitors triumphed 4-3 at the Madejski Stadium, our first pre-season outing on home soil, and now return to training at Cobham this week before flying out to Austria to take on RB Salzburg in midweek.
Lampard claimed after the game that the runout had been another positive step in our preparations for the new campaign. He was also able to provide an update on the rehabilitation of several players who have yet to feature in the early days of his management, including N’Golo Kante and Callum Hudson-Odoi.
‘The signs are good,’ he said of the Frenchman’s injury comeback. ‘It was certainly the right decision for him to come home early from Japan and get the treatment he had.
‘He’s dipped into training with us over the last couple of days and I expect him to be training through this week to the point that he can be fully involved at the start of next week. There’s a lot more he needs to do physically without us but we’re hopeful.’
Hudson-Odoi was spotted watching our development squad in action at Sutton United this weekend and Lampard also gave the latest on the teenager’s situation.
‘He’s not training with us yet but the injury is coming on ahead of schedule. There will be a period for Callum where his injury is fine but then he needs to get fit to play in the team because it’s going to be very demanding with the way I want to play from front to back.
'He’s not far away and I know he’s done everything throughout the summer with our medical team to get back quickly.’
Lampard was then asked about the ongoing contract negotiations between the club and Hudson-Odoi, following newspaper reports last week that a deal was imminent.
‘If he had agreed then that would mean he had signed and we’re not quite there yet but it’s very clear that the club are working towards that. I think talks have moved on very well in the last week or two, hence why the headlines came out, but it’s not done yet.
‘The one thing that’s clear for me is I know I want to keep him here and the club wants to keep him because he’s a player we cherish. He’s come through our Academy, he’s the present and the future of this club so we’re doing everything we can to get there.’
Frank also confirmed talks have begun with Willian over a new deal.
‘I know the club are talking to him. Willian and Callum are both players I want in my squad. We’ve made some good moves this pre-season with Mason Mount and Ruben Loftus-Cheek signing new contracts, two young players nailed down and the club are always trying to do that.
'From a football sense, I’ve made my ideas very clear. I’m working very closely with Marina [Granovskaia, Chelsea director] and the board because these are two players that we want to stay for sure.’