Frank Lampard’s gamble on youth is paying off


Tammy Abraham’s hat-trick against Wolves on Saturday took his tally to seven. Mason Mount has three. Fikayo Tomori has one.

What a shot in the arm that is for the Chelsea academy. Everyone associated with their youth set-up cannot help but be encouraged by what they are seeing.

That includes me. My son is in Chelsea’s academy. He’s 10. It is so encouraging for those young boys to see a pathway developing further up the line.

Frank Lampard has said to all those involved in the academy that if they are good enough, they are old enough. He wants to be kept informed about emerging talent.

He is not doing this for the sake of it, or to get brownie points. He genuinely believes he can dip into that pool and make it work for him in the Premier League.

Look, there will be bumps in the road. That’s only natural. The Sheffield United game, when Chelsea let a 2-0 lead slip to draw 2-2, was a prime example. But there is such a good feeling at their training ground right now.

All this will be keeping the owners of the club happy, too. They are seeing these kids who cost nothing emerge and look at home in the Premier League. Lampard could have played it safe in his first season at Chelsea. He could have relied on Olivier Giroud to do a job for him up front rather than trust in Abraham.

But he has stood by his 21-year-old striker and is reaping the rewards.

In the past at Chelsea, you might have wondered whether a pathway to the first team existed. We all know about their extensive use of the loan market.

There is no doubt now. It is there and it is alive and kicking.


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