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So far this season, there has been great emphasis on Frank Lampard’s use of Chelsea’s academy graduates.
Tammy Abraham, Mason Mount and Fikayo Tomori have been amongst the Blues’ stars this campaign, as Gareth Southgate has recognised by including all three in his latest England squad. Callum Hudson-Odoi and Reece James, too, have featured and are likely to play a big role during this season.
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It is something of a new phenomenon at Stamford Bridge. We have been used to seeing a hoard of international stars in south-west London, but very few of the club’s budding youngsters have been able to make a real impression since John Terry did all those years ago.
As such, it is no surprise that there is so much focus on their development, and Frank Lampard must be commended for that. However, in the same breath, we must not forget the impact he has had in rejuvenating some of the older stars too.
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Jorginho is perhaps the prime example. The Italy international was something of a scapegoat under Maurizio Sarri, and was even booed by his own fans. Now, though, he has been given the vice-captaincy and has found his way into the hearts of the Chelsea faithful. There has been a distinct improvement in his performances, too, averaging 0.6 more created chances per game than last year in the Premier League, whilst also winning 0.8 more fouls. He also managed to reduce his unsuccessful touches from 0.9 to 0.3 per fixture.
Willian, as well, looks a different player under Lampard. He has completed 82% of his dribbles this term compared to 65% in the previous campaign, whilst also winning 16.5% more ground duels than he did previously. He has impressed so much, his boss singled him out for praise following his display against Southampton in the Premier League last Sunday.
Marcos Alonso also seems to be more comfortable under Lampard. He appeared to struggle towards the end of Sarri’s reign, but he has done well since coming back into the side following Emerson Palmieri’s injury that has ruled him out of contention. Often lambasted for his showings, he seems to have impressed the Stamford Bridge faithful so far this campaign.
Yes, there have been plenty of positives in regards to the younger players, but the older generation have also got better under the former Derby County manager. Lampard deserves just as much credit for that.