Chelsea manager Frank Lampard considers integrating Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech to training

Frank Lampard is already plotting how to help new recruits Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech hit the ground running at Chelsea next term.

Germany striker Werner has set a new club record of 94 goals before signing off at RB Leipzig, while Morocco winger Ziyech endured a frustrating end to his Ajax tenure with the Eredivisie shutdown due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Both high-profile new signings officially become Chelsea players on Wednesday, and Blues manager Lampard has said he could quickly integrate them into his existing squad in training.

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“I am in the process of arranging that plan now,” said Lampard. “They are also in different positions in the fact that Hakim hasn’t played for a long time because of the Dutch league situation and Timo finished at the weekend. We will formulate a plan for them that will look slightly different individually.

“We will decide in the meantime at Cobham in the training ground whether that means mixing with the squad or whether that means some physical work in the shorter term for themselves.”

Chelsea pulled off a serious coup in recruiting pacy goalscorer Werner in a £53m deal, while the addition of Ziyech from Ajax should further boost the Blues’ creativity and goalscoring threat.

The continued backing from owner Roman Abramovich has allowed Chelsea to steal a march in the transfer market while other Premier League rivals have had to review financial plans in light of the coronavirus impact. Should Lampard manage to ease both his new recruits into the Blues set-up by the time next term kicks off, Chelsea could sneak another advantage.

Asked if the duo’s imminent arrival could help them integrate more quickly into west London life, Lampard replied: “Yes, that will be up to how we arrange the plan. The first issue is how we finish the season, that’s absolutely what we are focused on and my main focus. In terms of these two players, individually, we need to make sure they arrive with good fitness and freshness levels for next season.

“It will be a longer break than the players we already have in our squad so I will take that into account. When I feel it is the right time to bring them in and around the squad during this season, I can do that. If not, the absolute priority is making sure they are ready for the next.”


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Leicester 0-1 Chelsea player ratings – Barkley shines as Vardy struggles again

Ross Barkley's 63rd minute goal was enough for Chelsea to beat Leicester City 1-0 in their FA Cup quarter-final and keep alive Frank Lampard's hopes of winning silverware in his first season in charge.

In what was largely an even encounter, Barkley's close-range finish made the difference after he turned it home from Willian's cross after coming off the bench as a substitute.

The Foxes put pressure on the visitors late on and missed a number of good opportunities to equalise but the Blues were able to cling on and book a semi-final date at Wembley on July 18 or 19.

Here's what we thought of the players during the game at the King Power Stadium…


Schmeichel 7

Fabulous point blank save from Pulisic. Solid as a rock.

Justin 7

Another one off the production line – bags of potential from right back.

Evans 7

Glanced wide from a header, good defensively, always reliable.

Söyüncü 6

Booked. Tough defending, took no passengers but very effective.

Chilwell 7

Will this be another audition for Chelsea? If so, he passed. Great delivery.

Ndidi 7

Leicester so much more solid with him in midfield, covered so much ground.

Pérez 5

Substituted early which perhaps summed up his rather ineffective display.

Tielemans 6

Lively, worked hard and forced a good save as he looks to get back to form.

Praet 6

Worked hard and tracked back from midfield to cover when needed.

Barnes 6

Looked powerful and quick, he caused problems down Leicester’s left.

Vardy 5

Still the Premier League’s top scorer, but looks off the boil and not scored since restart.


Albrighton, for Perez, 58 mins, 6

Choudhury, for Praet, 58 mins, 5

Gray, for Barnes, 76 mins

Morgan, Ward, Iheanacho, Mendy, Fuchs, Bennett


Caballero 7

Back to being the cup keeper, he was solid and reliable.

James 5

Lost his place since lockdown and was given a chasing. Hooked at half time.

Rüdiger 7

Lucky to get away with a challenge on Tielemans. Strong vocal leader.

Zouma 6

Solid defensively, always willing but lacked composure on the ball.

Emerson 6

Has never quite worked at Chelsea, good on the ball and steady enough.

Gilmour 5

Clumsy in possession early on, did get better but was hooked at half time.

Kanté 6

One player pleased there were no fans on his return to his former club.

Mount 5

Hooked at half time after contributing very little. Disappointing afternoon.

Willian 7

Given the armband and delivered with a lovely assist for Barkley.

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Pulisic 7

Dangerous again, went close and worryingly came off with an injury.

Abraham 6

Restored to the starting line-up, looked a little rusty but works so hard.


Barkley, for Gilmour, 46 mins, 8

Azpilicueta, for James, 46 mins, 7

Kovacic, for Mount, 46 mins, 7

Loftus-Cheek, for Pulisic, 73 mins, 6

Pedro, for Willian, 78 mins

Arrizabalaga, Alonso, Jorginho, Giroud.

Man of the Match: Barkley

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Frank Lampard: ‘Fantastic’ Raheem Sterling got manager race comments wrong

Frank Lampard believes Raheem Sterling was wrong to compare individual managers but hailed the Manchester City forward’s “brave” fight for equality. Sterling questioned how Lampard could be appointed Chelsea manager and Steven Gerrard as Rangers manager while their international contemporaries Sol Campbell and Ashley Cole are yet to break through at a top level.

Lampard paid rich tribute to Sterling for taking a consistent stand in the fight for equality, admitting more action must be taken, but he felt Sterling’s comparisons of the four ex-England team-mates was too “casual”.

“What Raheem Sterling has spoken about in the last year or two, he has been brave enough to speak about issues that maybe hadn’t been broached and should have been broached a while before; he deserves huge credit for that,” said Lampard. “I think you could say the same for a real spectrum of Premier League players: Marcus Rashford recently, Jordan Henderson, Troy Deeney, Mark Noble. I don’t want to leave too many out, but I think they are making a great impression of themselves in what they are saying.

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“I think in the actual case of managers, I think he got it, from my point of view, slightly wrong, because it felt like a very casual comparison. Because if you compare opportunities and pathways of individual managers, you can compare myself, you can compare Steven, you can compare Sol, who by the way did an incredible job at Macclesfield and the job now at Southend is tough, it’s one all of us would find difficult to do.

“Then you can compare Ashley Cole who finished his career last year with me at Derby, and is working away here (as Chelsea academy coach) with me and doing a great job, and I think he’s going to be successful whatever he wants to do. So I think it’s very hard to make that comparison from the outside.”

Lampard’s Chelsea will host Sterling’s City in Thursday’s Premier League clash at Stamford Bridge. Sterling’s vocal stance on the wider issues affecting football and beyond continues to impress Lampard, who believes the 25-year-old has been right to speak out. Insisting he has had to graft for his chance at Chelsea, Lampard also conceded that football still has a lot of work to do in terms of striving for equality.

“Those opportunities have to be equal for everybody, I think we all agree on that,” said Lampard. “But within that then there are the details of how hard you worked. I certainly worked from the start of my career to try to get this opportunity, and there’s a million things along the way that knock you, set you back, that you fight against.

“I’ve sat with, well the two owners I’ve had for starters, in terms of Mel Morris was an incredible, inclusive man who wants the best for his football club, and is the most fantastic fella that I’ve been involved with and fortunate enough to work with. And I think what he does at Derby is very inclusive and he’s doing it the right way. And in terms of the club I’m working for now, it’s a club that makes huge statements and actions around any form of prejudice. We did it a lot last season, we’ve done it a lot recently.

“I think our owner (Roman Abramovich) wants success, and I’d like to think that no matter your background, and I’ve played for a lot of managers at this club, you’ll get a chance. Having said that I think there is certainly an argument… I think we’re moving fowards and I think we can move forward more quickly, where players are getting equal opportunities if they move into management. And not just players, young coaches who come into the game.

“The FA do a lot of good work, I’ve just finished my pro licence, it was very diverse, it was very open. That needs to be encouraged, if there’s anything we can do to ensure everyone gets an equal opportunity in the paths towards management then it needs to be done. And the numbers suggest that needs to be done. But with Raheem, the individual comparison, when you don’t have the detail of each person’s pathway, I felt that wasn’t quite right. And again I’ll level that out slightly, because I want to say that Raheem Sterling as a player and as a person and what he’s stood up for over the last two years, I think has been fantastic.”


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Chelsea boss Frank Lampard makes Kai Havertz transfer statement

Frank Lampard has insisted Chelsea have not tabled any transfer bid for in-demand Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Kai Havertz.

Havertz's string of impressive performances for both Leverkusen and Germany have put the 21-year-old on the radar of some of Europe's top teams.

Chelsea have long been linked with a move for the seven-cap midfielder, but Blues manager Lampard is adamant no bid has been forthcoming.

Asked if Chelsea have made contact with Leverkusen, Lampard said: "No, no bids have gone in.

"He's obviously a top player, but I'm certainly not going to comment on other players at other teams.

"And it cannot be our focus. So, nothing to say."

Asked how many more recruits Chelsea will chase this summer, Lampard continued: "I don't know, because we have the games we need to complete before the window opens.

"That's something we'll broach when it comes around. So for the minute our only focus can be on the games in hand."

Chelsea tied down out-of-contract wingers Willian and Pedro to new short-term deals on Tuesday, meaning the long-serving duo will see out the resumed season at Stamford Bridge.

Spain star Pedro is expected to complete a move to Roma for next season, while Willian has attracted interested from Tottenham and Arsenal among others.

Willian joined Chelsea from Anzhi Makhachkala for £30million in 2013, and has gone on to make more than 200 appearances for the west Londoners.

Pedro arrived at Chelsea in 2015 from Barcelona in a £19million deal, with the 65-cap Spain winger a Stamford Bridge mainstay ever since.

"Yeah we are still talking with the players, and Willian in particular we are talking with him," Lampard said.

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"I always felt confident they would remain, they've been fantastic professionals for the club, and servants in all senses.

"And when you have that level of professionalism within you, I think it's a sign that they wanted to stay and see out the season at least.

"So we'll carry on talking and see.

"But I think everybody's focus now is on these next games, these individuals themselves and us as a club."

Asked if a strong end to the current campaign could convince Willian to sign on for more at Stamford Bridge, Lampard said: "I really don't want to get into beyond this season; I want Willian to play his best football for the next nine or however many games we have this season depending on the cup run.

"And that's it. And behind the scenes we can talk. I get on very well with Willian himself, the club get on very well with Willian too.

"So we'll see what happens with that one."

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