Frank Lampard insists that Chelsea’s transfer ban did not force his hand to play in-form striker Tammy Abraham.Lampard may not be so bothered with Chelsea’s transfer ban appeal failing given his success with the youngsters the club already have
Because if Chelsea fail in their claim against an ongoing Fifa transfer ban, on a date yet to be fixed in the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne, it could be a blessing in disguise for their manager.
The 21-year-old surged to the top of the scoring charts with a hat-trick against Wolves on Saturday taking his tally to seven for the season.
Chelsea manager announces he always believed the time was right for Abraham, who has had spells on loan with Bristol City, Swansea and Aston Villa, to be handed his chance in west London.
“I’m really pleased that he has got his goals. He’s in a great position, a place that just needs him to maintain and improve even more and with his mentality and the way he is every day I hope to see that.”
Abraham is set for his Champions League debut against Valencia at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday night, while for Lampard it will be the first match in Europe as manager. Lampard, who lifted the trophy as a Blues player in 2012, said: “I’ll be proud to do it. I had multiple incredible nights in the Champions League – and some bad ones – and it is the ultimate in club football for me.”
“I’ll be proud to take the team out, well aware that what matters is results and starting the group well, but yes I am excited.”
He said: “I know the team very well and they certainly weren’t expecting this.
“But Valencia are a team that have done well, they know how to make the best of their strength which is to counter-attack and they have some world-class players.”
Lampard will be without defender Antonio Rudiger due to a groin injury, while N’Golo Kante and Callum Hudson-Odoi are not matched fit.