Frank Lampard says 'time is right' for Chelsea's young gun Tammy Abraham
LONDON: Frank Lampard said Chelsea the transfer embargo did not force him to play the hot young striker Tammy Abraham , who prepares for his debut in the Champions League on Tuesday after reaching the top of the Premier league goal boards.
Abraham, 21, made a hat-trick against Wolves on Saturday to take his league account to seven for the season, at the level of Sergio Aguero of Manchester City, before Valencia's visit to the Stamford Bridge.
With Chelsea currently banned from bringing in new players, Lampard has relied heavily on Abraham and fellow youngsters Mason Mount and Fikayo Tomori.
But the Blues boss said he always believed the time was right for Abraham, who had spells on loan with Bristol City, Swansea and Aston Villa, to be handed his chance with Chelsea this term.
Nunca tuve expectativas claras para él, solo el hecho de que creía en él y confiaba en él, said Lampard a periodistas el lunes.
I know that a lot has been done about the ban on giving opportunities to young players, but I felt it was the right time for Tammy to have his chance at this club anyway, due to the quality he has.
I am really delighted that you have achieved your goals. I think there is still more to come.
It is in a good place, a place that only requires that it be maintained and improved even more and I think that with its mentality and the way it is every day, I hope to see that.
Abraham will probably start against Valencia in what will be Lampard's first match in the Champions League as coach.
Lampard, who lifted the Champions League as a Chelsea 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.
Chelsea face a Valencia side in a certain amount of disarray with the players currently refusing to talk to the media in protest at last week's sacking of popular manager Marcelino, despite winning the Copa del Rey and securing Champions League football last season.
Instead, former Real Madrid assistant Albert Celades will be in the excavation of the Spanish club.
"I'm aware of what's going on, but at the same time it doesn't affect our approach," said Lampard.
We face a quality team. But in my experience at times like this, when there is a collective problem, as a team, as a group against the media or the outside world, it usually makes the group more strict.
Sometimes it can be both positive and negative in the field.
The head of Valencia, Celades, insisted that his players are still committed to the cause despite their bleak start.
A 5-2 loss in the first game of Celades in charge, against Barcelona over the weekend, did little to improve morale.
And the 43-year-old fulfilled the obligations of the press conference only on Monday while the players continued with their boycott of the media.
Obviamente no es una situación ideal, pero en realidad es decisión de los jugadores. No tengo mucho más que decir al respecto. No hay nada que pueda hacer al respecto, said Celades.
I talk with the players every day. They made this decision, but there is always dialogue. The reaction I have had has been very good and I am sure it will continue to improve.
The spirit is very good. Tuesday is the beginning of the best club competition in Europe and that is a great motivation for players to give their best.
They want to play, test the atmosphere and be in the initial XI. Nobody wants to get lost and that, for me, is the most important thing.