FRANK LAMPARD has told Chelsea’s young hopefuls to get used to scrapping for their futures.
Boss Lampard delivered the stark message after clinching the £48million signing of striker Timo Werner this week.
The deal heaps pressure on home-grown striker Tammy Abraham who is now fighting for his place despite scoring 13 Premier League goals in his first season as the club’s main man up front.
Werner has been in blistering form for RB Leipzig in the Bundesliga, bagging 26 goals in just 32 league appearances.
Lampard said: “I’ve spoken to Tammy before about the idea of competition and I don’t feel the need to have to address every player if a player comes in who might challenge their position at a club like Chelsea, because that’s what it’s about.
“It’s been about that in its most successful years, in recent years in the Roman Abramovich era.
“Tammy has had a very good season for us this season. He has to sustain and improve on that because at Chelsea we have demands. I’m happy to have options and we have options in forward areas. And we must have competition for places. So I’m pleased with the idea of that.”
Werner is the second major signing for Chelsea since February with a £38m deal for winger Hakim Ziyech also in the bag, taking spending to almost £90m.
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“He is clearly a player we liked. I have followed him for a long time personally just as a talented player. Even before I had this job. He will strengthen us in my opinion.
“He has had a fantastic season but also before that as well. Where we couldn’t do as much business in the last couple of windows it has given us the chance to have more youth in the team but we were very clear about the fact we want to improve.”
Lampard is preparing his squad for a trip to Aston Villa on Sunday – where failure in goal line technology robbed visitors Sheffield United of a win in the first game under Project Restart on Wednesday.
Lampard said: “I feel for Sheffield United and Chris Wilder, because emotions rightly would have been running very high because of what is at stake.
“And I also have sympathy for the referee on the pitch.
“It’s something we all pretty much take for granted that it works.
“I think it was a difficult situation, clearly in future we have to make sure VAR is across it. And make doubly sure, because VAR has to be there to back up decisions.
“You would have thought this one was clear cut but now we realise it isn’t, and I feel sorry for Sheffield United.
“In terms of the games, I really enjoyed it, it was great to have football back.
“Great viewing for us all, we’ve all missed it. Quality teams playing and more to come.
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“I want to make the players as aware as I can of the different challenges coming up. But one thing remains the same, it’s the players on the pitch realising what’s at stake in these games and performing to the best of their ability for Chelsea.”
Winger Pedro, yet to sign a short term contract extension, is eligible to play until June 30 but unable to because of an ankle knock.
Defender Fikayo Tomori has a muscle injury and Callum Hudson-Odoi is lacking match fitness.