Abraham vindicated Lampard?

The young striker is joint top scorer in the league

The Guardian

Frank Lampard says place in the top six cannot be guaranteed for Chelsea

Frank Lampard has admitted Chelsea are at risk of losing their place in the top six this season. Chelsea's transfer ban stopped them from strengthening their squad after selling Eden Hazard to Real Madrid in the summer and Lampard is taking nothing for granted after picking up five points from his first four league games.

"We always want to be competitive but we're all very honest about the situation," Chelsea's manager said. "Eden moved on and two No 9s moved on who were the No 9s generally last season.

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Has Tammy Abraham's excellent start proved Frank Lampard right?

By Joe Harker

Chelsea's transfer ban has thrown up some surprising bonuses, with the most obvious being the emergence of striker Tammy Abraham.

He's the joint top scorer in the Premier League after the opening five games, with his performances an apparent vindication of manager Frank Lampard's decision to persist with Abraham over more experienced options Olivier Giroud and Michy Batshuayi.

So, has the striker Chelsea have been looking for all this time been right under their noses all along?

The Claim:

It certainly seems that way, with Abraham's goals firing his team to victory over Wolves.

Without his goals Chelsea would have lost to Norwich City and Sheffield United, meaning the club would have picked up four fewer points after their opening round of fixtures and be tied on points with Newcastle United just above the relegation zone.

Of course another striker might also have scored but it represents how important Abraham's goals have been to Chelsea that he's been taking on such a huge responsibility.

It's been a happy accident of the transfer ban that Abraham's chance has come. Lampard said he wanted to use more youth players and the young striker has grabbed his chance with both hands.

After the first couple of games the doubts were creeping in, he'd hit the post in a 4-0 defeat against Manchester United and had his penalty saved in the UEFA Super Cup final. The manager would have been well within his rights to try a bit of rotation, but Lampard persisted with Abraham and has been richly rewarded.

The Counter Claim:

However, despite Abraham's goalscoring excellence Lampard believes Chelsea's chances of finishing in the top six are not guaranteed due to the shift in the balance of power between clubs.

Chelsea are surely weaker this season than they were last, having lost star forward Eden Hazard to Real Madrid and been slapped with a transfer ban that rendered them unable to replace him.

Despite the brilliance of club academy graduates like Abraham it would seem that Chelsea are weaker at a time when clubs like Leicester City and Everton are growing stronger.

The Premier League's big six clubs cannot be sure of qualifying for European competitions at the moment and there's still a long way to go before Lampard has demonstrated he's the right man for the job at Stamford Bridge.

Abraham would also not be the first young player in football to have an explosive impact when given a chance in the first team before falling away into less impressive displays. It would be best to judge the striker after a full season rather than just the first five games.

The Facts:

Abraham is the joint top scorer in the Premier League along with Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero, both having scored seven goals from eight shots on target.

Abraham's slightly fewer minutes on the pitch mean he's got the best goal-to-minute ratio of any player in the league this season, finding the net every 47 minutes.

The striker also has a decision to make after his club form attracted the attention of international managers.

He's played for England at various youth levels and made a couple of appearances for the senior team in 2017 but they were friendlies and he is eligible for Nigeria.

With more experienced players ahead of him in the England pecking order he might decide to switch international allegiance to be guaranteed of more playing time. It's his decision but his talent is seeing interest directed his way with ever more regularity.

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Metro

Tammy Abraham's brilliance helps Lampard's very English revolution hit top gear

A Tammy Abraham-inspired Chelsea romped to a 5-2 victory at Molineux to kick-start the Frank Lampard era in the most homegrown way possible.

Fikayo Tomori opened the scoring from distance but Abraham stole the show with his first Premier League hat-trick that sealed the three points for Chelsea before the game was an hour old.

All eleven league goals under Frank Lampard have now come from English players aged 21 or under, a true indictment of the direction of this Blues team.

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