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Lampard has unearthed a future Chelsea captain with youth policy - Sutton

16:42 EAT 11/12/2019
Frank Lampard Chelsea 2019-20
A former Blue has been impressed with how the club legend has brought through the likes of Tammy Abraham, Mason Mount and Fikayo Tomori this season

Frank Lampard may have discovered a future Chelsea captain by allowing a number of academy stars to step up to the senior fold, according to Chris Sutton.

Lampard quickly set about stamping his own mark on the Chelsea squad when he was drafted in to succeed Maurizio Sarri in the managerial hot-seat back in July.

A FIFA imposed transfer ban prevented the 41-year-old from signing any new players, so he took a closer look at the club's younger talent ahead of the 2019-20 season.

Tammy Abraham, Mason Mount, Fikayo Tomori are among those to have benefitted, with all three men now enjoying prominent roles in the first team.

Abraham has hit 11 goals in 15 Premier League outings, while Mount has emerged as one of the most consistent midfielders in the Premier League.

Tomori, meanwhile, has made a spot in the heart of Lampard's defence his own, helping Chelsea rise to fourth in the top flight and qualify for the Champions League knockout stages.

Sutton, who played for the Blues during the 1999-2000 season, thinks that the English trio all have the necessary attributes to inherit leadership duties at Stamford Bridge one day.

When asked to assess Lampard's brief tenure at Chelsea to date, Sutton told BonusCodeBets: "There’s been a lot of admiration for what Frank Lampard has achieved at Chelsea this season.  

"The pressure is off on the basis since the early 2000s in the Abramovich era, everyone always expected Chelsea to be in the hunt for the Premier League title.

"He’s achieved great things with the younger players, the likes of Abraham coming through, Mason Mount playing well, Reece James has been excellent. It bodes well, and they’re an exciting team to watch. 

"They’ve got a manager that has total faith and belief in them, and at the start of the season he gave Abraham an opportunity over [Olivier] Giroud and [Michy] Batshuayi, he’d seen him and trusted him and you can only give him credit for allowing players like him, Mason Mount and Tomori to make that step up.  

"If the players at their age are showing early signs of being able to consistently perform at a high level in the Premier League, then there’s no reason why one of them couldn’t become a Chelsea captain.” 

Chelsea are five points clear of fifth-placed Manchester United in the race for the final Champions League spot, but recent defeats against West Ham and Everton have seen their credentials questioned.

A 2-1 European victory over Lille on Tuesday helped to lift the mood at the Bridge ahead of another home clash with Bournemouth on Saturday, which they can ill afford to lose as the fixture list starts to pile up.

Sutton thinks a top-four finish would represent a successful season for Chelsea, but he also feels they will be expected to fight for a second Champions League crown.

“Top four would be a good season for Lampard. Frank would want the top four and I believe he would see that as a real success," Sutton added. 

"If Chelsea even ended up finishing 5th, and the likes of Tomori, Mount and Abraham had an extra year’s experience in the Premier League it would still be a successful season for Frank Lampard.

"It’s all about the Champions League though, that’s the expectation of the club.”