Frank Lampard has revealed that only N’Golo Kante, no longer suspended but still nursing a hamstring injury, will miss tomorrow’s Premier League trip to Leicester City.
The Chelsea head coach was speaking at his pre-match press conference via Zoom from Cobham and reported a largely fit squad for the visit to the King Power Stadium, including the return to availability of Andreas Christensen, although the game would come too soon for Kante to feature against his former club.
‘Christensen is available but N’Golo unfortunately isn’t,’ said Lampard. ‘His hamstring is not quite ready for this one and those are the two of note to report on.’
Kante missed our win at Fulham after serving a one-match ban for the accumulation of five yellow cards, while Christensen hasn’t featured since the draw with Aston Villa after sustaining a knee injury in that game.
Lampard gave his thoughts on one outgoing announced today and reports suggesting another…
‘It’s great for Danny [Drinkwater, who has joined Kasimpasa on loan] to go and play for himself and get some games. I’m not considering getting players out to bring in at this point. I’m just trying to make sure the balance of the squad is right.
‘Fikayo [Tomori] is a developing player. As a squad, we had four centre-backs last year but I can’t play all four in one game and you try to find consistency in different times. Fikayo was in that and then later on not so much.
‘This year we have five centre-backs so the predicament is difficult with some of them not playing regularly and that’s why he may go out on loan for his development. He’s a young player and he’s had a huge rise in the last two seasons since I’ve been working with him. That will continue and we’ll find the best path for that.'
The boss also had praise for Mason Mount’s recent contributions…
‘I’m not sure how anybody could really criticise him of late. In the modern world, it’s really easy to hear them even if you don’t use social media and I felt that last season as well.
‘He’s the type of midfielder who does so much great work for the team off the ball, which maybe for the naked eye is not as exciting as an overhead kick or a triple stepover. He does the basics well, he moves the ball so quickly, he’s a great team-mate and we’ve seen recently that he scores goals and finds assists.
‘The critics are wrong, there’s no doubt about that. Anyone who understands or knows about football and watches Mason Mount play understands what an incredible talent he is. He’s just turned 22 – imagine when he’s 25 or 27.’
Finally, there was a focus on building momentum to push us up the table…
‘We just need to consider the games in front of us, try to win them and steadily push ourselves up the table. We’re not in a bad position, we’ve had a short bad period of form but if we can put wins together this month then the picture will change as it has done already very quickly this season.’