Last summer, Frank Lampard took over as manager of his former English Premier League club, Chelsea Football Club (CFC). This time he finds himself in a campaign different from CFC’s past. Chelsea was handed a transfer ban last season and is not permitted to buy players until the summer window of 2020. So, for Lampard and Chelsea, it meant they had to work with the young talent they had neglected for so many years. After a rocky start that saw a 4-0 loss to Manchester United, Chelsea is now well on their way.
Chelsea fields the youngest team in the English Premier League this season and they’re among the youngest teams in Europe. Players like Mason Mount, Christian Pulisic, Tammy Abraham, Callum Hudson-Odoi (recently back from injury) have been among those responsible for a resurging club. On Wednesday night in Lille, France, Lampard started six players under the age of 24, on the road. The result – a 2-1 CFC win.
Tammy Abraham has been a scoring machine through the first 8 weeks of the campaign. He notched yet another goal to open the scoring at 1-0 for Chelsea. The Blues then had to deal with an onslaught of crowd noise and waves of Lille counter attacks. This saw the game level heading into the final quarter hour. Although a youngster set up the second goal (Hudson-Odoi, 18), William, a Chelsea vet, who banged home the winner.
Lampard has downplayed the youth on his squad and hasn’t used them as an excuse for any of Chelsea’s struggles. Even after a home loss in their opening Champion League football match, Lampard never wavered.
“This isn’t a game for niceties,” Lampard said. “We have to go and win these matches and improve all the time and there were loads of signs of team improvement tonight, and individuals. The youngsters are responding and they have to keep doing it because the Champions League level is something else.”
American superstar Christian Pulisic was left out of the match-day 18 man roster on Wednesday, because among all the young Chelsea talent, he has struggled the most to adjust to the English Premier League and European Challenges. Chelsea travels to Southampton this weekend for a tough, road Premier League match.