Frank Lampard reveals THREE of his new signings will miss Monday’s trip to Brighton with Hakim Ziyech, Thiago Silva and Ben Chilwell out – but Fikayo Tomori is available with Everton loan move off the cards for now
- Frank Lampard will be without three of his signings for Monday’s Brighton clash
- Hakim Ziyech, Thiago Silva and Ben Chilwell will all miss the trip to the Amex
- The Blues boss will have Fikayo Tomori to call upon amid doubts on his future
Chelsea manager Frank Lampard has confirmed he will be without three of his summer signings for the trip to Brighton on Monday – with Hakim Ziyech, Thiago Silva and Ben Chilwell all out of contention.
The Blues have splashed out more than £200million on new recruits in this transfer window, outlining serious ambitions for the Premier League title, but while many fans would have been excited to see their new stars in action, the Chelsea legend said a large handful of them would have to wait for their debuts.
Speaking at a press conference ahead of their season opener against the Seagulls, he said: ‘[Hakim] Ziyech took an injury to his knee in the friendly against Brighton, he won’t be fit. We’re working with him and hoping it’s a matter of weeks. We’ll have to see on that one.
Chelsea boss Frank Lampard will be without three of his new signings for the trip to Brighton
Hakim Ziyech will be unavailable as he continues to recover from a knee injury in pre-season
Ben Chilwell (L) is also not fully fit, while Thiago Silva (R) is yet to start training with the club
‘Ben Chilwell is working towards fitness but won’t be fit either, but he’s improved which is good news for us. Thiago Silva is in London but not training with us until the weekend. I doubt very much he’ll be in contention.’
But while Lampard will be without two defenders for the game, he said he would be able to call upon Christian Pulisic and Cesar Azpilicueta, who were both injured in the FA Cup final against Arsenal last month.
He also said he would have centre-back Fikayo Tomori, who is reportedly close to a move to Everton, available in the squad.
The 22-year-old was given a chance by the young manager last season and impressed with some strong displays, but eventually lost his place in the team – with Antonio Rudiger and Kurt Zouma preferred.
But Lampard has been boosted by the return of Christian Pulisic (L) and Cesar Azpilicueta (R)
Lampard said Fikayo Tomori was in contention for Brighton amid doubts around his future
Lampard refused to be drawn on rumours linking Tomori away from the club, and insisted he was not looking for improvement in his performances – urging him to keep showing the same passion and desire he first saw when he was on loan with him at Derby two seasons ago.
‘With Fikayo I’m not aware of [Everton interest] – he’s in contention for Brighton and that’s where we’re at,’ he added.
‘There’s nothing specific I want from him to improve, just to work hard and show me the same work ethic he showed me at Derby County and from major parts of last season. He knows, and I hope every player knows, I’m fair in how I pick a team.
‘There are four centre-backs, two of them will be unhappy every week but they have to make that starting place their own.’
The Blues coach accepted the team face pressure after making a string of top draw signings, including Bayer Leverkusen star Kai Havertz for £89m
There should be plenty of pressure on Chelsea to succeed this season given their heavy investment in the playing squad.
Kai Havertz joined from Leverkusen for £89m while his German team-mate Timo Werner was signed from Leipzig for £53m as Chelsea landed two high-profile targets.
But Lampard insists he has no desire to talk about ‘making statements’ this season and that Chelsea will always face pressure no matter what business they do.
But he urged caution and said new stars, such as Timo Werner need time to settle into the club
‘I think the pressure on me to do better should be the standard that comes with the territory of this job. I dont wanna talk about us making statements.
‘The players we brought in will get a lot of talk, it becomes a good news story, but it was more about last year. We were very happy to get top four, we fought hard we know we had a transfer ban.
‘The fact we’ve improved the team, we should be excited – but we need caution, we need to work with the new players to get them settled into the team. We want to work upwards and the work starts now.’
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