Frank Lampard has singled out Mason Mount and Fikayo Tomori for praise in his first interview after becoming Chelsea’s new manager. The 41-year-old, who spent 13 years as a player at Chelsea, has returned to Stamford Bridge to replace Maurizio Sarri who joined Juventus last month. During his single season at Chelsea, Sarri was criticised for not taking a closer look as some of the club’s academy players and giving few minutes to Callum Hudson-Odoi during the first half of the campaign. Reports also claimed this week that Sarri did not watch a single minute of Chelsea’s Under-23s last season or monitor the academy players in training. Lampard, meanwhile, has vowed to create a clear path to the first-team squad for Chelsea’s young players and says he was impressed with the attitudes of Mount and Tomori during their loan spell at Derby last season.
‘I’m excited because playing here for so many years, seeing work put into academy seeing the work from top, investment into academy, the want and desire to see it succeed, on the ground the coaching staff trying to bring players into first-team and then the players themselves,’ Lampard told Chelsea’s official website. ‘I was fortunate enough to work with Mason Mount and Fikayo Tomori last year, their attitudes stood out well. ‘The fact they came through the academy here – you could see it in how they held themselves, how they train, their manners off the pitch so that’s what I want to see, 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 team?’ ‘I was that young player a very long time ago. And the one thing you want is the feeling that you can get into the first team, the feeling that the road that divides the academy to main building, is a road you can cross. And I think it comes from the top.’