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Chelsea warned against striker signing which could stunt Abraham's development

17:35 GMT+3 02/01/2020
Tammy Abraham Chelsea 2019-20
Former Blues star Joe Cole hopes the club will continue to show faith in a promising academy graduate who remains in talks over a new contract

Chelsea have been warned against bringing in a big-money striker by Joe Cole, with the Blues urged to keep faith with Tammy Abraham and ensure that his development is not stunted.

Frank Lampard took the decision to trust youth upon inheriting the managerial reins at Stamford Bridge last summer as he looked to contend with a two-window transfer ban.

That has since been lifted, freeing Lampard to spend in January if the right targets can be identified.

It has been suggested that Chelsea may look to add another frontman to their ranks, with Olivier Giroud being heavily linked with a move elsewhere.

Cole hopes that is not an indication that Abraham will slip back down the pecking order, with the 22-year-old having registered 14 goals in 27 games this season.

The former Blues star told BT Sport: “Well, you certainly don’t need to replace him.

“I think he has made himself irreplaceable as a member of the group at Chelsea because he’s a young lad who epitomises what the club is about.

“He knows the club and that’s without the stuff that he’s doing on the pitch. On the pitch he’s been fantastic, he’s scored goals, he’s led the line, he’s been a revelation.

“But what Chelsea, and any of the top clubs will do, is they will always look what’s around: ‘Can we improve?’

“So I think unless they’re going to bring in someone who is going to compete with him, not to go above him or below him as a youngster - someone to compete with him.

“I believe he can [be Chelsea’s long-term striker]. The mentality, the mindset and when you’ve got a young player with them two attributes - forget the speed, the strength, technical ability - if you’ve got those two attributes, you can work with that and he’s just got better and better.

“We’ve seen it with our own eyes how he’s got better over the last three, four years. He’s been a revelation.”

Abraham is tied to a contract at Stamford Bridge through to the summer of 2022.

Chelsea have been keen to rewarded his progress in the current campaign with fresh terms, having already tied a number of other academy graduates to new deals.

Talks have stalled, however, with sources confirming to Goal that financial demands are responsible for the delay in getting an agreement over the line.