Lampard to 'dangle carrot' for Chelsea's emerging prospects
Frank Lampard is ready and willing to work closely with the scores of young Chelsea prospects who have gone largely ignored under previous regimes.
Chelsea announced club legend Lampard's return to Stamford Bridge as head coach on a three-year deal on Thursday.
The 41-year-old's remit as Maurizio Sarri's successor is reported to include a focus on bringing through the cream of an academy that swelled with untapped potential in recent seasons.
Chelsea are in the midst of a two-window transfer ban for breaching transfer regulations - although they club have appealed the decision - impeding their ability to beef up a squad which recently lost Eden Hazard to Real Madrid.
Homegrown trio Tammy Abraham, Jake Clarke-Salter and Reece James are among those now seeking opportunities, while Mason Mount and Fikayo Tomori could step up to the Premier League after filling key roles for Lampard at Derby County.
Callum Hudson-Odoi waited patiently for a breakthrough under Sarri last term and it appears the teenage winger could now be joined by several more talented hopefuls.
"I was fortunate enough to work with Mason Mount and Tomori last year. Their attitudes stood out," Lampard told Chelsea TV.
"The fact they've come from the academy, you can see it in how they hold themselves and the way they conduct themselves off the pitch.
"I want to work with those players. I want to dangle the carrot. Can you work hard, can you compete, can you get in the first team?"
21 – Under Frank Lampard, Derby County gave more minutes to players aged 21 and under in the Championship last season (exc. play-offs) than any other club (13,137). Philosophy. pic.twitter.com/8WitJoSkBp— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) July 4, 2019
Lampard's assistant Jody Morris, who formerly worked with Chelsea's Under-18 and Under-21 sides, has also returned from Derby in a move designed to strengthen the connection between youth teams and the senior squad.
"I was that young player a very long time ago and the feeling you want is that the divide between the academy and the main building is a road you can cross," West Ham product Lampard said.
"I think that does come from the top. If young players are performing, and they deserve it on merit, then they can come in and train with us.
"It's not an easy road, it's very tough, but we can help them."