Christian Pulisic and Marcos Alonso have been ruled out of tomorrow’s Premier League encounter with Burnley by Frank Lampard in the manager’s pre-match press conference.
Alonso is recovering from a recent muscle injury but will not make it back in time for our latest league assignment, while Pulisic has been ruled out for a few weeks with a knock picked up prior to last weekend’s FA Cup victory over Nottingham Forest.
‘Christian is out for a few weeks,' reported Lampard. 'He was injured in training last Saturday before Nottingham Forest. It’s a tendon injury in the adductor so we’ll have to see how quickly he recovers because it’s quite a nasty injury and he was in pain when it happened.
‘Marcos Alonso is recovering. He trained today but he won’t be ready for tomorrow. Ruben [Loftus-Cheek] is still out and he’s out for a while but hopefully he’ll start getting involved in a bit of collective football, maybe with the Academy to get his eye in slightly in terms of playing because he’s at that stage now.’
With the winter transfer window in full swing, Lampard was asked for an update on any potential incomings and outgoings, starting with Olivier Giroud.
‘I said it after our last game, the situation is that if it’s right for everybody – and first and foremost, that’s us the club because he’s under contract – then we’ll look at whether he can leave. He’s been a great professional here but we still have to make a decision for the football club and nothing’s done yet.
‘Everyone is talking about it so I’m not going to beat around the bush. His agent has spoken to the club but until we decide it’s the right thing then of course it’s not done.
Frank went on to explain that a possible departure was not necessarily dependent on bringing a replacement in before responding to speculation linking us to Moussa Dembele.
‘He’s a player I know and the club know but I’m surprised to see his name pop up so regularly when it’s not popping up in my conversations so regularly. There’s quite a few players in the last week that I could say the same about.
‘We’re looking to strengthen in high areas and with goalscorers because it’s where we’ve been found pretty short in home games recently but they’re hard to find and I’ll only want to go that way if we know we’re improving the squad that we have already.
‘Nothing is close at the moment, we’re not imminent and there won’t be any big news today or tomorrow.’
The boss also ruled out a move away from the Bridge this month for Andreas Christensen.
‘I can rule that out. I like Andreas as a player, I used to train with him and saw the talent coming through and I want him to be the best that he can be. You see the height, the athleticism and the quality on the ball, particularly his choice of pass, and I want him to be all the things he can be.
‘The reality is we have competition at centre-back so most weeks two of them won’t be that happy, one particularly not happy, but as with all the players I want to work on parts of their game that I think they can improve.
‘Against Aston Villa, I thought he was immense and then sometimes if we are coming up against teams who are physical then Andreas really has to stand up to that and I don’t mind saying that. He knows that and needs to know that but those little bits in his game can really make him the fantastic centre-half that I think he can be.’
The issue of our recent home form, with three defeats in four games, was also addressed.
‘When you analyse the three games that we’ve lost – West Ham, Bournemouth, Southampton – it always gives you a bad feeling losing at home in front of your fans. We’ve created 50 chances in three games and scored no goals so if that is the case and you’re playing in the Premier League and you let teams stay in the game then they will have quality to hurt you.
‘We need to take our chances in home games and I need to be pretty firm about that because it’s easy to say we’re unlucky or the ball hasn’t dropped for us but we have to get that right.
‘We work on that in training but there’s an element of it that is instinct and we need to find that killer instinct in front of goal because in terms of play, we’re controlling big parts of games but we’re allowing teams to stay in them. We get into the final third a lot, as much as any team in the country barring Liverpool, but we’re not converting chances at home.’