Frank Lampard hits out at Willian over Eden Hazard’s squad number claim

Chelsea 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 Eden Hazard.

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.

Lampard opens the door for Drinkwater’s return to Chelsea

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 out-of-favour.

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 no plans of following Maurizio Sarri to Juventus

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.

Maurizio Sarri opens up on N’Golo Kante’s main weakness

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 one touch.”

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 Can Repeat Chelsea’s 2012 Season, Says Didier Drogba

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 Champions League.

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.

Michael Ballack advises Eden Hazard, Callum Hudson-Odoi to stay put at Chelsea

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.