Is Lampard truly prepared to give youth a chance? Read his response

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Photo: Reuters/Philip Brown

Chelsea have long been criticised for failing to give regular first-team opportunities to younger players despite having one of the most prolific academies in the country.

Former boss Maurizio Sarri came under pressure last season for his reluctance to initially start Callum Hudson-Odoi in the Premier League even after the youngster made his England debut against Montenegro in March.

Newly appointed Chelsea boss Frank Lampard has claimed he is ready to give youth a chance.

“The path from the academy to the first team is important,” said Lampard. “It is something that I will work hard to make sure the communication is there day in, day out. I’m lucky because the staff I have with me will help with that.

“I will always have an eye on the academy. I was that young player a very long time ago and the one thing you want is the feeling that the road which divides the academy to the main building is a road you can cross. It has to be there for you.

“And I think that does come from the top. If young players are performing and they deserve it on merit, then they will be coming to train with us.

“But there is a lot of hard work for them to do. I don’t want it to look like an easy road. It is very tough, but I want to try and help them.

“I’m excited because playing here for so many years seeing the work put into the academy and on all fronts, from the top, the investment into it and the desire to see it succeed, on the ground, the coaching staff, the people working in the academy trying to bring players through to the first team.

“And the players themselves, I was fortunate to work with Mason Mount and Tomori at Derby and their attitude stood out well.

“You could see they had come through the academy here in how they held themselves, how they trained, their manners off the pitch. That’s what I want to see. I want to dangle the carrot.

“Can you work hard? Can you compete? Can you get in the team?”

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