They have big smiles on their faces today reported Frank Lampard when speaking about the two newest Chelsea recruits to the England international squad.
When Gareth Southgate named his players yesterday for Euro 2020 qualifiers against the Czech Republic and Bulgaria, he included Tammy Abraham who previously played England friendlies back in 2017 but was not in the squad earlier this season, and he selected Fikayo Tomori for the first time. They joined club colleagues Mason Mount who made his England debut last month, and the established Ross Barkley.‘I might need to remind them that come Sunday, they need to perform for Chelsea,’ Lampard added with a smile of his own, ‘because it is great news for them but it is just the start and the minute any standards drop or any complacency kicks in then they will all suffer.‘But I am pleased they are smiling and they need to use that to add to their armoury and say okay, I am in the England squad now so I need to show even more, day in day out for us.‘It is well-deserved,’ the Chelsea boss commented on Abraham’s return to the Three Lions fold.‘He is scoring goals regularly and everyone knows his form is really good for us. I think he has probably been in the equation all season for Gareth because of how he has played and it is a natural progression for him. I am delighted because I know he is proud to get a call-up.’
Lampard does not want to put too much pressure on the striker’s shoulders by saying he will definitely score goals at international level, but points out the player has shown he can score goals in the Championship and now in the Premier League.‘The work has only really begun for him because he is a young player, so I want to see him continue playing in the same vein for Chelsea and scoring goals and then naturally when he goes to the England squad, he has all the attributes to go there and be successful, but it will be another step for him. I am sure he has the attitude to take that challenge of being a goalscorer for England and there is competition there. He will see there are great strikers in that squad already and it is a good challenge for Tammy.’
On Fikayo Tomori’s first England call-up
‘Rightly so, Mason and Tammy have taken a lot of the headlines this season so I am absolutely delighted for Fikayo,’ said Lampard.‘Seeing him at Derby last year, he turned up as a quiet lad, there were loads of great talent in him but slightly raw. He had had a loan at Hull which was so-so and then to see him play the full season last year, I relied on him hugely. Then he came here when some people would have easily doubted whether he would step up to the Premier League because he is young, yet he has shown great quality. The England squad is another natural progression and I am really pleased with him because he deserves it and he has been a dream to work with day in day out for the last 15 months or so.
‘It is all up to him now whether he gets in the England team but he has made the step of being in the squad. Gareth wants to see him close up, wants to see him train. Steve Holland [England assistant and former Chelsea coach] knows him well so now it is in Fikayo’s hands to go there and show what he shows us every day.’
Hudson-Odoi return at Under-21 level
Callum Hudson-Odoi is another Chelsea Academy product who made his England debut last season before injury struck. With the winger only recently returned to club action, he was named in the England Under-21 squad today.‘That is a good shout,’ reckons Lampard. ‘I spoke to Gareth and all I can do is say what I see from a Chelsea end and it is Gareth’s choice. Callum has probably not played enough games and the international games will do him good. It is England Under-21s and he should be proud of that anyway.’
Read: Gareth Southgate explains his selections