Frank Lampard’s appointment as Chelsea head coach may be to the advantage of the club’s academy products and perhaps Fantasy managers too.
With Chelsea currently hampered by a two-window transfer ban (subject to appeal), the Blues always looked as if they would have to turn to youth this season to flesh out their squad.
Eden Hazard has already departed for the Bernabeu, while peripheral squad players such as Gary Cahill have also exited the club.
The appointment of Lampard, who worked with Chelsea loanees Fikayo Tomori and Mason Mount at Derby County last season, would seem to further the chances of some of the Blues’ hitherto overlooked starlets having a breakthrough year at Stamford Bridge.
Players such as Mount, Tomori and Tammy Abraham are not yet priced up in FPL but given that not a single senior Chelsea player costs more than £7.5m at present, there could be potential Fantasy bargains to be had once Lampard gets his feet under the door.
Speaking at his first press conference after his unveiling, Lampard said of Mount and Tomori:
They were great for me last year, both of them. They come back now with a very clean slate, as does every player – young, old, been on loan, at the club, whatever. The same for Tammy Abraham.
We’ve got young players at a really good age that have the talent, in their own way, can be huge players for this club. Part of my job will be to develop the great young players we have here.
Given the size of Chelsea’s squad, however, Lampard did add that some of the club’s rookies would have to leave on a temporary basis again:
We have a big squad, not everyone will be able to stay. For the development of certain individuals, the path will be chosen – whether it’s with us or on loan. The loan system has worked very well. That’s the next month’s assessment.
The former Chelsea midfielder was quick to stress that he won’t be jettisoning all of his senior players in favour of youth:
On one hand, trying to develop young players, I think that’s really important, but at the same time, I want to work with the experienced players. I want players that, whether you’re 18 years of age or 32 years of age, you feel like Chelsea’s your club.
If we talk about losing Eden Hazard, yes we can understand that. But at the same time, we also have a very strong squad of players and I don’t want to talk down this squad because there is huge talent there. A team that managed to come third last year in the Premier League and managed to win the Europa League. We haven’t been decimated, we haven’t lost players from everywhere, we still have a very strong squad.
One household name that was mentioned was N’Golo Kante (£5.0m), who was repeatedly played to the right of Jorginho (£5.0m) in a central midfield three in 2018/19 – something that didn’t endear Maurizio Sarri to the Chelsea faithful.
Asked whether he knew where Kante’s best position was, Lampard said:
Yeah I do, thankfully [laughs]. I’m not going to sit here and talk about how we’re going to look next season because we start pre-season tomorrow.
I’ve said it before, Kante is one of the greatest midfield players in the world, in the last few years, his performances have been outstanding. My job will be to find the best position to get the best out of him.
I know the qualities, the attributes he has.
We’ll have a full Scout Report on Lampard and his year at Derby County in the days to come.
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