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Donatus Mercy
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New Chelsea manager, Frank Lampard, has admitted he would have to rely on the club’s academy players, during the FIFA transfer ban.

The likes of Tammy Abraham, Mason Mount and Reece James could well be recalled from their various loans, to join the likes of Callum Hudson-Odoi and Ruben Loftus-Cheek next season in the Blues’ first team.

Lampard, however, warns that they will have to prove themselves in pre-season, as he assesses who will make the grade over seven matches.

“The bonus is I’ll have quite a calm July. At Derby last year, every day agents were ringing me all over the place. It’s quite a nice footing for me. If I came into a squad I felt was short that would be a huge problem, I don’t think it is.

“It does change the landscape slightly, of course, because we’ll see teams improve. Man City have broken their record. Man United, Liverpool, Tottenham are buying players. Teams are going to improve. The important thing for us is not to focus on what everyone else is doing it’s what we can do here.

“I’m new into the hot seat. I know we’ve got a good squad and a lot of really good young talent. That’s certainly becomes a big focus of the year. First is to be competitive, but second, can we put some faith in the young players and see if they can get into the first team and show what they can do.

“I believe there are some there, not all of them, some might try and it might not work, it’s also a test for the older players to rise to that as well. I think the motivation should be there [for youngsters to breakthrough], but I understand that if a door can seem locked for a long time then it can affect young players.

“I have spoken about it and I will make it very clear going in that the door is open if you prove that you are good enough, but I do think the motivation should be there. Hopefully, that will be a nice way to start the season, talk to the young lads and if they have had a foot in the first-team or not they should use that.

“The reality is we should be competing no matter what and my job is to try and find a balance between the players that think they are in the first-team squad and the players breaking through. There is no use me sitting here and saying I’m going to play all the young players.

“They have to show individually they can do it so the balance from me will be to remain competitive and bring them through. Every manager has their own idea whether they think they don’t want to know about young players too much and this is my first-team squad.

“My eyes will always be open to the young players but they have to show they are good enough because we can’t lower our levels too much. This is Chelsea so I am not going to be doing young boys favours and put them in the team.

“They need to prove themselves to get in the team and if they can do that I will be proud because it will be what I see as a big part of my job this year,” Lampard told the press.

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