Having discussed yesterday two of the young players at Chelsea, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Callum Hudson-Odoi, Frank Lampard extends the debate today to Tammy Abraham and the youthful potential in his squad generally.
Lampard explains how Loftus-Cheek and Hudson-Odoi can contribute now and in the future
Abraham is one of the Academy players who have broken through and become a mainstay of the side this squad but unlike six of the others, he has not signed a new contract in the past year. Lampard however does not believe this to be a distraction.‘We are not at a critical level with Tammy’s contract, and I will leave that between him and the club to discuss,’ he explains.‘If it is in his mind now then it shouldn’t be. What needs to be in his mind now is these games coming up and how much he can give us, whether he comes on as a sub or is starting games because he has had a really good season.‘He has not scored so much in the second half of the season and as a young player, it is always clear that when you have these periods there is only one way out of it and that is work, and repetition in training, and every moment you get trying to make the most out of it.‘The contract will hopefully look after itself between him and the club and he just needs to focus on giving us that Tammy we had earlier in the season, which was giving defenders so much of a problem in games and scoring regularly. It all came from how he was training and working through the week. You could see it in his demeanour through the week which meant he performed on the match days and that is what he has to sustain all the time.’
Lampard widened the debate to all emerging players in his squad and highlighted the importance of helping them maintain self-belief throughout the inevitable dips that will come with their upward progress.‘We get very excited about young talent and rightly so, but it is pretty hard to come into this Premier League with the level that it is at and sustain performance or be in the starting 11 all the time.‘There is competition, games are hard, so whether it is Tammy, Mason, Fikayo, Reece, they have had periods of real input, playing regularly, and periods when they have not quite so much, in their own ways. That is something we all have to be calm with from the outside and can all sort of expect that, but the main thing from me working behind the scenes with them all is that they understand they will have those little moments and not lose confidence.
‘I am always there to support them on that one. But also they need to continue the work and never think they have it cracked. That is a message for all young players, not just mine, because I have been there, I know how hard it is to break through and once you break through, it is possibly harder to sustain it and move onto the different level which top players do, sustaining great performances for years.‘So all these younger players here potentially have it. A lot of it is in their hands at this point.’
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