head coach Frank Lampard has hit out at Willian by stating that he has yet to
decide who will wear the number 10 jersey next season. The Brazil international
has worn the number 22 jersey with the Blues over the years, but he has recently
indicated that he has been offered the number 10 shirt after the departure of
In a press
conference, Lampard clarified that the comments made by Willian are false and
he has yet to decide as to who would represent the shirt number. He added that
Willian is currently going through the final phase of recovery from a hamstring
injury picked up at the Copa America and he could return to training by next
month, he said: “There’s no confirmation on that decision. It will be taken in
due course. Hopefully his return to training date will be early August.”
Chelsea have produced a mixed bag in terms of performances during pre-season but there are still positives from the fact that a number of young players have impressed. The likes of Mason Mount and Tammy Abraham have already earned plaudits from the manager and the duo stand the chance of make the matchday squad when the Blues face Manchester United in the league opener next month.
Elsewhere, Lampard will be hoping for some positive news on the injury front. Antonio Rudiger, Callum Hudson and Ruben Loftus-Cheek are unlikely to return before the curtain raiser but N’Golo Kante appears close to making a comeback. The Frenchman has not recovered from the knee problem which had troubled him towards the end of the previous season, but Lampard remains optimistic that the midfielder will return to training in the next few days. Chelsea have friendlies scheduled against Reading, Red Bull Salzburg and Borussia Monchengladbach before the new campaign.
Newly appointed Chelsea manager Frank
Lampard has opened the prospect of working with players, who were out of
contention under former boss Maurizio Sarri. A number of players were ignored
at different periods under Sarri last term but Drinkwater was the odd man out
as he made just the single appearance for the Blues before falling
Speaking to reporters, Lampard said that he
is prepared to offer a fair chance to every player in the club’s setup. He
added that would be looking ateveryone’s attitude in training during pre-season
before deciding on the players suitable for his system, he said: “Everybody
will have the opportunity to show what they can do.
“I will be looking at their attitude, the
way they play and train, in pre-season and onwards. I would be a fool to come
here with ideas that I’m going to freeze anybody out, I want to get the best
out of the squad. Everybody has an opportunity. I have no pre-conceived ideas
about anybody. I already have a good knowledge of the squad, but I need to see
them over the next month.”
Drinkwater was urged to pursue a fresh challenge away from Stamford Bridge during the last summer transfer window but he declined the prospect to remain with the club. However, that did not prove beneficial for the campaign, given Sarri was adamant against playing him even when the club were struggling with few injuries at the heart of the midfield.
Nonetheless, the decision to remain with the Blues could pay dividends this summer, whereby he has the opportunity to prove himself under Lampard. The England international has already made the trip to Dublin alongside his Blues teammates and could feature during the opening pre-season friendly against Bohemians next week. Drink water has three years remaining on his contract.
Chelsea defender Emerson has indicated that
he has no plans of following manager Maurizio Sarri to Juventus this summer.
The Blues recently confirmed the departure of Sarri after just one year at the
helm and the 60-year-old has since returned to the Serie A with Juventus citing
personal reasons behind the move.
A recent report from Tuttosport indicated
that Sarri may seek to pursue the signature of Emerson from Chelsea this summer
after the 24-year-old impressed under his tutelage during the backend of the
previous campaign. When asked about the gossip, Emerson said that he is
completely content in west London and he has no thoughts of making the switch
to Turin, he told: “Me at Juve with Sarri? I am happy here, I have not received
any calls and I am focused on Chelsea.”
Emerson joined the Blues from AS Roma
during the 2018 winter transfer window and he managed just seven appearances
under Antonio Conte during the 2018/19 campaign. However, the forthcoming
season proved a better one for him with 27 appearances across all competitions
and he happened to get the regular nod over Marcos Alonso at left-back during
the final stages of the campaign.
As such, it was quite evident that he had become a favourite under Sarri and it remains to be seen whether he can command a similar role with a new head coach at the helm. The Blues have been tipped to land former player Frank Lampard as their next boss and talks are understood to be at an advanced stage with Championship side Derby County.
The 40-year-old guided the Rams to the
Championship play-off final during his debut managerial season last term and
that has helped him to build a reputation on the coaching scale after making a
huge mark during his playing days.
Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri has
indicated that N’Golo Kante does not have the technical qualities when compared
to Jorginho on the playing field. The France international has been denied the opportunity
to play in the preferred holding role over the course of the campaign and Sarri
has now indicated as to why the Frenchman does not fit in the position.
In a news conference, Sarri said that he
prefers Jorginho in the central defensive role ahead of Kante, considering the
Italian is better when it comes to playing one touch football in the current
tactical system deployed, he said: “He’s [Drinkwater] not adaptable, that is my
opinion. My opinion is important for me.
“Kante can play with two midfielders
because he is a world champion. With the three he is better on the centre right
or left because I want a technical player. Jorginho against Brighton played 161
balls, for our way of football it’s important to have a CM and technical and
fast with the mind. Kante is wonderful for something different but not playing
Chelsea have recently found form with three league victories on the bounce and this has propelled them to the fourth position on the standings after 33 games played. Next up, they are scheduled to face Sparta Prague on the road during the opening leg of the Europa League round of 16 stage and they are considered as favourites to come up triumphs from the encounter.
Thereafter, the Blues have a quick
turnaround with a Sunday league game against Liverpool on the road, and it
would not be surprising, if some of the regulars are rested during the Prague
trip. Chelsea have played out three draws and two wins from the past five
meetings against the Reds, but they can expect their toughest challenge yet
with Jurgen Klopp’s side competing for the title.
Manchester United will be able to eliminate
the exploits of Chelsea in 2012, according to Didier Drogba. The former Ivory
Coast international was able to produce a magical campaign with the Blues back
in 2012 when Roberto di Matteo was able to get the club to a Champions League
victory against all the odds. The Italian came in as the replacement for Andre
Villas-Boas midway through the campaign and Chelsea were struggling big-time in
order to even finish in the top four places. The Blues did not even finish in
the top five in that campaign, but they were able to claim a victory in the
Drogba has seen several similarities to the
campaign enjoyed by Chelsea to the one Manchester United have been experiencing
over the last few months. After a lot of struggles under Jose Mourinho, Ole
Gunnar Solskjaer has been able to come in and of a wave the fortunes of United
in a spectacular way. United are preparing to take on Barcelona in the
Champions League quarter-finals knowing that the Spanish outfit are
overwhelming favourites. The English club were able to come up with a
remarkable comeback in the previous round in order to overcome PSG despite a
2-0 first leg defeat. The comeback is very similar to the kind of recovery
Chelsea showed in their way to the finals back in 2012.
“Did you know I was going to do that in 2012? I didn’t. Not even me, I didn’t know [I could]. Maybe someone or a team will come up, a club like Manchester United.From what I saw [against PSG], I have to count on them. They have spirit and quality. They have this thing of having a manager who has won it and knows how to win; this is important. It is always something different when a manager has played at the club.He knows the spirit and he knows everything about the club,” said Drogba.
Former Chelsea midfielder Michael Ballack
has urged Eden Hazard and Callum Hudson-Odoi to stay put with the Blues beyond
the current campaign. The duo are currently in a contract standoff with the
west London side for different reasons and reports have indicated that they
could be sold irrespective of the recent transfer ban levied on the Blues.
Speaking to TalkSPORT, Ballack advised
Hudson-Odoi to remain with the Capital outfit and stated that the club should
do their best to convince the attacker despite his reduced gametime this term,
he said: “I wanted to play when I was young. If I grew up in a club like
Chelsea, I would want to stay at Chelsea, and Hudson-Odoi is one of the biggest
talents in London and England, so I would stay and try to make my way.”
When asked further on Hazard, the former
Germany captain had the same opinion but suggested that the attacker’s stay may
depend on whether the Blues can remain competent for major honours, he added: “Normally
if a club like Madrid is knocking on the door, it’s normal that he’d be
thinking about that. Maybe he is seeing that the club can’t give him that
anymore. But if he can have the feeling he will win something maybe the option
is to stay.”
The Blues recently receive a huge blow to their summer transfer plans after they were handed a two-window transfer ban by FIFA. However, the embargo could be delayed for at least one transfer window with the appeal and they have a huge decision to make regarding the futures of Hazard and Hudson-Odoi during that time.
Both players will enter the final year of
their respective contracts during the summer and so far, there has been no
indication to suggest that either would be willing to pen
a new long-term deal with the west London giants.