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Frank Lampard believes this young midfielder is ready for first-team action

Chelsea manager Frank Lampard believes Mason Mount is ready to make the first-team after a strong showing against Barcelona in pre-season. The England youth international started in the number 10 position against the Blaugrana and he managed to produce a commendable performance without finding the net.

Speaking after the 2-1 friendly triumph, Lampard said that Mount has announced himself into the first-team squad with the display against the Spanish champions. He added that the Japan tour has served the purpose of enhancing the fitness of the players and they need to keep working hard before the season opener against Manchester United next month.

He said: “Mason’s had a great trip and he’s announced himself into the first team squad.We’ve had two difficult games in humidity. The tour has served its purpose. We need to be fit and ready for Manchester United, and the clock runs down pretty quickly at this stage. Now we just have to keep working. It’s been a good tour and it’s always good to come to Japan. Most importantly it is work and both games have been good exercises for us.”

Mount, who penned a long-term deal with the Blues this month, has been a regular member of Lampard’s team for pre-season and he has started three of the club’s four matches. There had previously been doubts whether he could make the breakthrough with the Blues during the forthcoming campaign, but any uncertainty may have been erased with him being able to orchestrate the play with relative ease.

Still, the youngster cannot take his position for granted with the number of senior players in the club’s ranks and the remaining pre-season matches could decide whether he can command a starting role when the Premier League season begins. Chelsea face United on the road in the curtain raiser.

Willian hails ‘extraordinary’ Frank Lampard ahead of managerial appointment

Chelsea winger Willian has hailed the extraordinary qualities of Frank Lampard and said that he will be very welcome to take over as the Blues next head coach. The west London side are without a manager after the departure of Maurizio Sarri but they have been fancied to seal the appointment of Lampard from Derby County.

Speaking to Football.London, Willian was full of praise for the former Blues star and said that he would have the full backing of the club, should he take over the managerial reigns, he quipped: “He is a legend. He was an extraordinary player for the club, winning every possible title. He deserves so much respect and backing for what he has already achieved at the club. If Chelsea do bring him in, he will be very welcome. Is he definitely going to be the next manager? I don’t know. But I think he would be up to the task. He was a great player, and he is a great person. He’s only starting his managerial career now, but he has everything it takes to be a success.”

The Blues are currently under a transfer ban for the next 12 months and that means that they cannot register any players during the summer transfer window. Despite this, widespread report indicate that Lampard has given the green light for the project, considering the club are prepared to give him with the added time to cope with the embargo.

No official confirmation has been made regarding the appointment but the same only remains a formality with the Blues sorting out the compensation package with Derby. The Blues may not be able to pursue new players but they have begun the work of extending the contracts of players at the club. Ruben Loftus-Cheek has recently agreed on a bumper five-year deal and reports suggest that he could be presented alongside Lampard.

Morris insists club want to keep Frank Lampard amid Chelsea interest

Derby County chairman Mel Morris has said that the Rams are keen on keeping hold of manager Frank Lampard amid the speculated interest from former side Chelsea. The Blues recently witnessed the departure of Maurizio Sarri to Juventus and reports have since associated Lampard with an emotional comeback to Stamford Bridge in a coaching capacity.

Speaking to Goal.com, Morris said that the Blues may be without a head coach at the current point of time but there has been no contact whatsoever from the side with regards to Lampard. He added that the club are determined to keep the 40-year-old for the long-term and have stated their ambition to the former England international.

He said: “There is no change except that Chelsea no longer have a manager. We’ve made it clear to everyone but most importantly to Frank, that we want to retain him for the long term. If Chelsea want to hire him, then it is in their gift to make an offer in pursuit of that. In the meantime, we’ll continue to put our best foot forward to continue with our plans for the coming season and work with Frank, (and) for him to know how much he’s wanted by everyone associated with the club.”

The Blues are currently not permitted to make any signings for the next two transfer windows as they are serving a transfer ban. Owing to this, there are likely to rely on the academy and reserve players to enhance the squad performance next term and Lampard may find success, considering he got the best out of some of the young players at Pride Park. Chelsea have already placed an appeal at the Court of Arbitration for Sport for the embargo and they are now awaiting a potential date for the hearing before deciding whether to apply for a freeze.

Christian Pulisic focusing on himself ahead of fresh challenge with Chelsea

USA international Christian Pulisic has said that he is focusing on himself as he embarks on a fresh challenge with Chelsea next season. The young attacker joined the Blues on a permanent basis from Borussia Dortmund last winter and he was therefore loaned out to the Bundesliga side for the remainder of the season.

During this period, there has been increasing speculation regarding the future of Eden Hazard, who has been the Blues’ star performer but Pulisic has indicated that he is not looking to replicate the Belgium international at the Bridge, he said: “Eden’s a fantastic player, we all know that. If I can get anywhere close to him, I’ll be more than happy. But I’m coming in to be my own player. I expect a lot from myself, for me that’s enough. Obviously there’s pressure from outside – that’s to be expected. I want to be successful, be part of this team and make an impact. They are my goals and to become the best player I can be.”

Hazard has just 13 months remaining on his current contract with the Blues and reports indicate that he has a good chance of joining Real Madrid this summer irrespective of the club’s ongoing transfer ban. As such, Pulisic could be the player to take up the mantle from the Belgian footballer and it remains to be seen whether he can make an instant impression with the Blues. Pulisic is currently in London to finalise the necessary introductory formalities with the Blues and he is thereafter expected to join the United States team for the Gold Cup. Chelsea, on the other hand, can end the season on a high, should they overcome Arsenal to the Europa League crown. The west London side have already sealed Champions League football for next season after securing the third spot in the Premier League.

David Luiz impressed with Maurizio Sarri’s philosophy at Chelsea

Chelsea defender David Luiz has said that he has been impressed with Maurizio Sarri’s philosophy during the course of the current campaign. The Blues have endured a mixed season by their standards in the Premier League but they are still on course to make the top four, provided they win their remaining two games of the season.

Speaking to Metro, Luiz said that he has been amazed with the tactical nous of Sarri, who has opted to play more possession of the ball. He added that some of the Blues players are still adapting to the new brand of football and it may take a bit longer before the club are completing in sync with the manager’s demands.

He said: “It’s a philosophy to have a lot of possession, create a lot of opportunities and he has tried to introduce that to us. I think he has already done amazing as in the past people were saying Chelsea don’t control the game, Chelsea don’t play with a lot of the ball, Chelsea just plays counter-attacks’ everyone was criticising Chelsea. Now we control the games and sometimes they criticise us because we don’t win the game with a lot of possession. I think his philosophy is amazing, it’s trying to play football. This takes time and we are trying to improve as soon as possible.”

Chelsea have been in-and-out of the Champions League places over the course of the season but they are currently placed fourth on the table. Nonetheless, they are just two points ahead of fifth-placed Arsenal and they need to secure victories during their final two matches against Watford and Leicester City to ensure qualification to the Champions League next term.

The west London giants can attain the same by winning the Europa League title, but that remains far off at the moment, considering they first need to overcome Eintracht Frankfurt at the last four of the competition. If they are successful, they could face either Valencia or Arsenal during the final in Baku.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek says Chelsea can’t dwell over Liverpool defeat

Chelsea midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek has said that the club cannot dwell on the recent Premier League defeat to Liverpool and must concentrate on the games ahead. The west London side suffered a 2-0 loss at the hands of the Reds at the weekend and this has somewhat hampered their prospects of making the top four of the Premier League.

Speaking after the game, Loftus-Cheek admitted that the defeat has been a tough one on the squad, who have been on a winning run since the international break. He added that the Blues must negate any negativity and concentrate on the positives for the rest of the season, he said: “It’s a really tough result to take. When you have a game like this — and with the negative press — it’s a skill to be able to deal with it and move on very quickly and take the positives out of it. I think that’s what we have to do as a team and as individuals, to keep a positive mind-frame. We can’t dwell on this, we’ve got games coming that are really important. So we have to move on.”

Despite the defeat, Chelsea are occupying the fourth position on the table but they could be leapfrogged by Arsenal before the end of the gameweek. The Gunners have two games in hand when compared to the Blues and they can recover the three-point deficit when they face Watford on the road on Monday night.

Elsewhere, the Blues are regarded as favourites to win the Europa League and they are scheduled to host Sparta Praha during the second leg on the quarter-final on Thursday night. The west London side secured a slender 1-0 advantage from the opening leg on the road and they remain the front-runners to progress, barring a shocking performance at the Bridge.

Frank Lampard and Nuno on the Chelsea Shortlist to Replace Sarri

Chelsea boffins are already thinking about the next season and there is a strong likelihood that Maurizio Sarri may not be in charge of the team for the 2019-20 campaign. After a disappointing set of results throughout the campaign, Chelsea find themselves once again in a top four race and not in the title race. Sarri may have started out extremely well but he has been hit by a number of critics in the last few months. The Italian’s stubbornness to stick with the same starting lineup and tactics have been a major disappointment in a division where managers are tactically astute.

The Blues had a strong look at Zinedine Zidane and the likelihood of signing the Frenchman as the next Chelsea manager. This would have been a great move for the club, who are fighting to keep Eden Hazard from the sight of Real Madrid. However,Zidane’s decision to join Real Madrid is a major blow for the team. Now, Chelsea are looking at two major candidates who can potentially lead the club back to successful days – Frank Lampard and Nuno Espiritu Santo. The former is a fan’s favourite and will command a huge deal of respect, while the latter has been able to make a strong impression in the Premier league with Wolves.

Both managers lack a significant amount of experience at the top level. Lampard has just begun his managerial career with Derby County, while Nuno is experiencing a taste in the Premier League only for the first time. Sarri appears to have fallen out with most of the players with striker Olivier Giroud claiming that the favouritism in the squad is starting to affect him. Chelsea are no stranger to changing managers, but it remains to be seen if Roman Abramovich will sanction a move for two inexperienced managers.

BBC pundit praises Chelsea star for his ‘touch of class’ performance

BBC pundit Garth Crooks has praised the performance of midfielder Jorginho in the aftermath of Chelsea’s 2-1 win over Fulham on Sunday. The Blues managed to secure a second-straight league win during the recent London derby at Craven Cottage and Jorginho managed to earn the plaudits after scoring the winning goal for the team.

In a report covered by BBC Sport, Crooks was impressed by the performance of the Italy international, who has struggled for form during the course of the campaign, he quipped: “I think Jorginho has struggled since his arrival at Stamford Bridge. Against Fulham, however, he suddenly looked like he was beginning to find some form.

“His goal was a touch of class in a Chelsea performance that looked competent without being outstanding. Maurizio Sarri may have managed to get through some difficult weeks but there is still much to do. He is a ditherer, he has an errant goalkeeper and a weak captain. Apart from that they are not doing badly.”

Jorginho has been one of the Premier League most-consistent players in terms of the passing https://www.premierleague.com/news/861114attribute but that has not been converted in the form of goals or assists. Despite this, the former Verona man produced an effective performance against Fulham and the long-range goal should give him the confidence heading into the final stages of the campaign.

With the win over Fulham, Chelsea have closed the gap to fourth-placed Manchester United to just two points with an extra game in hand. Next up, they are scheduled to host Dynamo Kiev in the first leg of the Europa League round of 16 on Thursday night. Thereafter, the Blues have another home game against Wolverhampton Wanderers in the Premier League. Sarri’s team will be keen to take revenge on the Wolves after the 2-1 defeat at the Molineux.

Ex-Chelsea manager unimpressed with Maurizio Sarri’s summer signing

Former Chelsea manager Ruud Gullit has said that Maurizio Sarri has made a mistake with the signing of Jorginho during last summer’s transfer window. The Italy international was reunited with Sarri during the summer following their stint together at Napoli but the move has not worked out with the midfielder lacking the positional awareness on numerous occasions.

Speaking to BeIN Sports, Gullit has been far from impressed with the performances of Jorginho and has suggested that Sarri made a mistake, given he already had N’GoloKante, who had excelled in the holding midfield role over the past few years. He added that the Blues have also been found out at the back and this has equally contributed to the downtrend in league form since the turn of the year.

“I think the first mistake he made was Jorginho, to bring him in. You had already the best holding midfielder, Kante – world champion. Now he wants to play them both. Kante’s not scoring goals for you. So he has a huge problem in midfield and he has a huge problem at the back as well,” he said following the Blues’ FA Cup exit.

Chelsea were fancied to come up with a good performance against Manchester United during the FA Cup fifth round, given they had recently received a boost with both Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard on the treatment room. Despite this, they struggled to outsmart the Red Devils in front of their supporters and they eventually suffered a 2-0 defeat with Ander Herrera and Paul Pogba on the scoresheet.

With that, they won’t be able to defend their FA Cup crown but they still have the chance to secure silverware with a League Cup final against Manchester City this weekend. They are certain to start on the backfoot after the 6-0 league hammering at the Etihad earlier this month and it remains to be seen whether they can contain the Citizens’ attack to register what can be deemed a shock triumph.

Chelsea manager defends Gonzalo Higuain after unimpressive start

Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri has leaped into the defence of Gonzalo Higuain amid his struggles during the opening two matches for the club. The Argentine joined the Blues on a temporary deal from Juventus during the backend of the January transfer window and he has since started against Sheffield Wednesday and Bournemouth without any success.

As such, a section of the Blues faithful have already questioned the signing of the Argentine but Sarri, who has previously managed the striker at Napoli, has urged for patience with the marksman, he said: “He is still not at top fitness and it shows, coming back from injury last month and the market meant he did not train well. He has to find his best condition.”

The Blues have had a genuine weakness in the striking department this term with neither Alvaro Morata nor Olivier Giroud sufficiently impressing during the first half of the campaign. Due to this, the west London giants were recommended by Sarri personally to recruit Higuain but so far, the move has not borne fruit with the 31-year-old yet to adjust to the demands of English football.

Still, the Italian tactician remains confident that the striker can find his scoring boots and he has the perfect chance to do when a struggling Huddersfield Town make the west London trip this weekend. The Terriers are winless since beating Wolverhampton Wanderers during the month of November and they are widely fancied to succumb another defeat with the Blues expected to provide a strong response after the midweek embarrassment at Bournemouth.

The Capital outfit suffered a shock and unexpected 4-0 loss at the Vitality Stadium on Wednesday night and the outcome has dropped them from the fourth position on the table on the goals scored to Arsenal. The margin of defeat was the Blues’ worst of the Premier League era.