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Lampard trusts young guns for Champions League bid

18 September, 2019 12:00 AM printer

Frank Lampard said he “believed and trusted” in striker Tammy Abraham as he prepared to unleash his young players against Valencia in Chelsea’s Champions League opener on Tuesday, reports AFP.

Abraham, 21, scored a hat-trick in a 5-2 win at Wolves on Saturday but his form has come as no surprise to Lampard.“I never had clear expectations for him apart from the fact that I believed in him and trusted him,” he said at a press conference on Monday at Chelsea’s training base. “I know a lot was made of the (transfer) ban giving opportunities for young players. But I thought now was his time.”

As for the possibility of England missing out on Abraham should he opt to play for Nigeria, Lampard said: “That’s not a question for me. He has put himself in a bracket by being a top-scorer in England. It is one for (England boss) Gareth (Southgate) but it is clear Tammy will be wanted.” Abraham who is the Premier League’s joint leading scorer alongside Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero with seven goals, has two senior England caps won in friendlies.

Lampard has put his faith in youth during a transfer embargo for the club and has been rewarded with some impressive performances. As well as Abraham’s three goals, Fikayo Tomori, 21, also struck his first goal for the club at Molineux, while 20-year-old Mason Mount continued the form that earned him an England call-up with his third goal in four Premier League games.