3 youngsters who can thrive at Frank Lampard's Chelsea
Background image: Ben Sutherland, CC BY 2.0
Modern times call for modern solutions. With the Maurizio Sarri era a relatively short one even for the Blues, Chelsea are shifting gears. Roman Abramovich is exiting his Italian phase and isn't looking for a marquee manager. Perhaps the dreaded transfer ban imposed by FIFA has forced his hand. All indications point to club legend and Derby County boss Frank Lampard being strapped into the Stamford Bridge hot seat.
Lamps isn't as experienced as any of the gaffers he played under, not even Roberto di Matteo, but his methods serve a sense of excitement. Not only does he believe in fearless, attacking football, he gave opportunities to young players at Derby and those players responded. Be it a famous victory at Old Trafford or defying the odds at Elland Road, the 41-year-old’s encouraging demeanour towards integrating youngsters into his side is impressive.
Chelsea’s famous academy might finally come into the limelight. Mason Mount and Fikayo Tomori were raised to new heights under Lampard last season. The Chelsea system has many more waiting to grow into future world-beaters. Here are three who ought to be near the front of the line.
After Fikayo Tomori worked wonders at Derby County, winning their player of the season award, Lampard might want to revolutionise Chelsea’s defence with bolder, younger options. David Luiz and Cesar Azpilicueta aren’t getting any younger. Marc Guehi will be happy to be given an opportunity to show what he can do after establishing himself as a mainstay in the youth team this past campaign.
The 18-year-old was part of England’s 2017 U17 World Cup winners and helped guide the Blues to the UEFA Youth League final last season. A compact defender with a strong ability to neutralise strikers, he also shows composure in distribution. Could Lampard mould him into the next John Terry?
Despite his age, Guehi’s a confident prospect with long-term benefits. Not only can he develop into a powerful, assertive centre-back, he shows the potential to be a strong leader.
Good grief, this 19-year-old striker is nothing like the wishy-washy Peanuts character who shares his name. 'Chuck' was in sublime form last season, eclipsing the achievements of the clubs senior strikers with his decisive work. Brown netted 12 goals in nine UEFA Youth League matches last season. As long as Lucy isn't holding the ball on spot kicks, he can finish. After Martel Taylor-Crossdale decided to pack his bags for the Bundesliga, Brown’s path to the senior team became clearer. Plus, it's easier to spell his name.
With 20 strikes last season, Lampard should be looking for him as soon as he changes into his training strip on his first day in charge. Blues fans would be over the moon if Brown can form a strong partnership with Callum Hudson-Odoi up front.
After older brother Josh settled for life in the Championship with Brentford, it's left to George to uphold the family name. The 18-year-old clearly possesses a knack for creativity in midfield. He knows how to ping the ball around to keep all his teammates involved. McEachran's an intelligent midfielder with an intuitive sense for the perfectly timed pass that unlocks defences.
Lampard showed he could share his technical know-how with the next generation. McEachran stands to benefit from that knowledge as well.
If Jorginho ultimately follows Maurizio Sarri to Turin, Lampard won't be left without a playmaker in the centre of the park. Mount remains on Chelsea's books and McEachran the younger is pushing him for a crack at the first team.