Frank Lampard insists he will give Danny Drinkwater and Michy Batshuayi a chance to resurrect their Chelsea careers.
Lampard returned to Chelsea on Thursday as he signed a three-year deal to replace former head coach Maurizio Sarri after just one season as Derby manager.
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The club’s all-time record goalscorer, who won 11 major trophies in west London, will be working under a transfer ban for the first two windows of his tenure and is expected to use the club’s academy players more than other recent managers.
However, he has also hinted he may turn to players like Drinkwater and Batshuayi next season, insisting “everybody has an opportunity”.
Drinkwater did not play a minute of football last season other than as a second-half substitute in the Community Shield while Batshuayi spent last season on loan at Valencia and Crystal Palace after struggling to make his mark following a £33.2m move from Marseille in 2016.
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“Everybody who joins up tomorrow, and it will be staggered, will have the opportunity to show what they can do, their attitude, the way they play and train in pre-season onwards,” Lampard said.
“I would be a fool to come here with ideas about ‘I’m going to freeze anybody out’. I want to get the best out of the squad.
“Everybody has an opportunity. I have no pre-conceived ideas about anybody, I have got good knowledge of the squad but I need to see them over the next month.”
Lampard’s first game in charge is a friendly against Bohemians in Dublin on Wednesday with both Drinkwater and Batshuayi in the travelling squad, while his first competitive fixture at the helm is a trip to Manchester United on the opening weekend of the Premier League season.
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