Lampard offers assurances to Giroud over Chelsea game time but open to discussions on future

By Peter Hanson 24 November 2020 323
Lampard offers assurances to Giroud over Chelsea game time but open to discussions on future

Frank Lampard assured Olivier Giroud he will get plenty of opportunities in the coming weeks but is willing to discuss his future if the France star feels he needs more game time.

Giroud appeared headed for the exit door last January but remained at Stamford Bridge and helped the Blues to a top-four finish, scoring eight goals in the final 12 games of last term.

But the arrival of Timo Werner from RB Leipzig coupled with the early season form of Tammy Abraham has seen Giroud struggle for minutes under Lampard in 2020-21.

Speaking to Telefoot this week, Giroud stated he may have to ponder his future in the next transfer window as he aims to nail down a spot in France's Euro 2020 squad.

Lampard understands Giroud's concerns but with matches coming thick and fast, the Blues boss says the veteran forward will feature prominently.

"I do have plans to have Oli with us, he's a very important player in our squad, and was a big part of our squad last year," Lampard told a news conference ahead of Tuesday's Champions League clash with Rennes. 

"When you look at his Chelsea career in terms of league starts he's played a relative amount. He's a big part of us going forward. 

"I want him to stay here, I have a very good relationship with Oli. If ever he felt it was going to go a different way I'd talk to him. At the moment he's very important to me."

He added: "When he doesn't play he's a great support, we have really grown up conversations as we did in January. 

"I'll be relying on top players, top strikers as I see it for us. I'll always be honest with Oli I think he's still got a big contribution for us. I don't want to be drawn in November about conversations that might happen in January."

Lampard, who as expected confirmed Kai Havertz is fit after recovering from coronavirus and Thiago Silva travels having been rested for the win over Newcastle United, has been impressed by the form of Abraham.

The England striker, who has five goals in 13 games this season, is showing signs of a promising partnership with Werner and Lampard says his task now is to show more consistency.

"Yeah I'm really pleased with him, he's playing really well at the minute, his all round game off the ball work for the team, link up play is good," Lampard said. 

"In some parts I think it got forgotten how good he was the first half of last season, he was a big reason for us finishing fourth. 

"The second half was more difficult for him. That's normal for a young player, he's still young, but now he's seeing a mirror of how he is in training. He's training brilliantly, he's enthusiastic, that's when he's at this best. I hope that continues.

"When they play like Tammy is at the minute they make my decisions easier because he's playing so well. Tammy should take credit, his next challenge is to remain consistent."

Lampard also talked up the qualities of Mason Mount, who has faced suggestions on social media of receiving favouritism from the Chelsea boss and his England manager Gareth Southgate.

For Lampard, Mount epitomises what managers look for in a player and believes social media has changed the way footballers face scrutiny.

"We have a big fanbase, it's very easy for someone to sit on a phone and make very harsh statements," he added. "With Mason he looks clean cut, he did an advert with his top off and that's about as edgy as he gets! 

"There are a hundred things in his game to impress his manager. He's a different type of footballer. When I say that I don't want to add fuel to the fire of people saying he's my son!

"He's got a lot to improve on, he can add more goals, add more assists, but he's a quality football player who can only get better. 

"Mason Mount or anyone will not be getting favouritism. In midfield we have options, out wide we have options, no one gets the edge from me other than how they train and perform."

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Peter Hanson

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