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Chelsea striker Tammy Abraham impressed during his loan spell at Aston Villa, scoring 26 goals in 40 appearances to help Villa secure Premier League promotion.
The 21-year-old is part of the three strikers expected to fight for a place in the team next season, with the other two being Olivier Giroud and Michy Batshuayi.
Giroud might be the obvious first choice for the striking position following his success in the Europa League last season as he was the competition’s highest goalscorer, helping Chelsea to win the trophy. However, Batshuayi and Tammy Abraham will be given time to fight for their place in the team.
Journalist Duncan Castles believe that Lampard will be expected to guide Abraham into the team after the success the young forward experienced while on loan.
Castles said: “But there are other players there. As you say, Tammy Abraham is one that people at the club are excited about him having the opportunity to be the number nine, the starting number nine at Chelsea, and I believe that is Frank Lampard’s intention to use him there and give him the opportunity to prove himself.
“Within the club, they would like to see Reece James retained and have the opportunity. Unfortunately James as well recently got injured on international duty, so not the best of circumstances to have his first pre-season in which to establish himself as one of Lampard’s players.”
However, Sky Sports pundit Paul Merson doesn’t think Abraham is a better striker than Giroud, and has warned Lampard against playing too many youngsters.
Merson told Sky Sports: “When you are the manager and the younger players are not better than what you already have – which they are not, let’s be honest – are you going to play [Tammy] Abraham over [Olivier] Giroud?
“That’s the problem. Reece James will be special but is he going to take [Cesar] Azpilicueta’s place at moment? I don’t think so.
“If you are Frank and you’re throwing these youngsters in, you still need to finish in the top four. You can’t just bed them in with the season not going great and then all of sudden Frank gets the sack.
“Someone else comes in and reaps all of the benefit with the transfer embargo being lifted – he’ll then have the best job in the world.”