A miracle sliding block from DeAndre Yedlin was the only thing that stopped Tammy Abraham from scoring his 9th league goal of the season, and taking sole possession of the top spot in the Golden Boot race on Saturday. While we’ve always known Abraham was synonymous with goals, he’s now doing the same at the Premier League level as well. And that’s fantastic, especially for such a young man.
But his tremendous form has meant that minutes for his older backups, Michy Batshuayi and Olivier Giroud have been hard to come by. With their aspirations of Euro 2020, coming up this summer, they are both facing potentially difficult choices in the next transfer window in January. Their international managers are certainly pushing for new “solutions”, and Giroud himself has made it clear that he’s not willing to settle for bench-warming.
For what it’s worth, Lampard understands their dilemma. He had faced similar situations in his own playing career as well. And while he can’t guarantee playing time for anyone, he can promise truthful and open lines of communication. And it sounds like that’s exactly what he’s doing.
“I had a good chat with Oli before he went away and I always respect all the players, but particularly the players of that age of low thirties. I love his professionalism.
“He was bang on when he spoke to me and with his quotes when he was away with France. He shouldn’t be happy and accept not playing. That’s what good players do. I think, as I said to Oli, he will get his games and be a big influence for us.
“At the moment, because of how Tammy is playing, there hasn’t been the minutes, so I would happily sit down with Oli in January. But that is a long way away. I want him here.”
-Frank Lampard; source: Telegraph
Given the number of games Chelsea will play between now and January, Giroud (and Batshuayi) will surely get chances. Whether that’ll be enough to keep them both happy remains to be seen. If one of them were to leave, it would surely be an understandable decision, even if it might leave the team with a potential weakness if injuries or bad form hit.