Chelsea vs Tottenham: Lampard delivers his verdict on Thiago vs Kane

The Brazil centre-back has transformed Chelsea’s defence since arriving as a free transfer from Paris Saint-Germain.

He has been so impressive that Lampard is already considering triggering a one-year extension on his contract after just three months at Stamford Bridge.

Thiago has kept six clean sheets in the nine games he’s been involved in – and prompted comparisons with Virgil van Dijk and Vincent Kompany.

But trying to stop Kane represents the greatest test of his qualities since arriving in English football – which Lampard duly acknowledges.

( Getty Images )

“Let’s be fair to Harry Kane, he can probably play against most defenders in world football and give them a problem,” said the Chelsea manager. “I don’t want to tempt fate but with Thiago’s qualities, his positioning and his experience, he can deal with these things individually. But as much as that the influence is what he gives to others around him.

“The major thing when you play against players as clever as Kane and Son (Heung-min) is that your concentration levels are absolutely spot on and you have the desire to deal with situations and keep clean sheets.

“Thiago gives off that. His individual talent, yes, but also as a unit we have to make sure and Thiago is the leader of that unit when you look at the back end of the pitch.”

Lampard has knows the Kane-Son partnership is the biggest threat to Chelsea’s hopes of coming out on top against Premier League leaders Tottenham on Sunday.

He is convinced they will break the record set by him and Didier Drogba for combined Premier League goals.

As a partnership Lampard and Drogba scored 36 goals. Kane and Son could surpass that this season, with their current total standing at 29.

“They are certainly a threat to that record and they are going to beat it comfortably with the way they are playing,” said the Chelsea manager. “I have got no qualms about that record. It is something me and Didier would be proud of to a degree, but this is football and it moves on. Players of their level will always test that.

“You look at the numbers they produce, both of them. Their link up play and understanding is clear. Fair play to them, the coach and the way they work as a team.

“So it is something we have to be aware of and we can’t look beyond that. It is a big strength of theirs, but it is not their only strength, there’s lots of different areas.

“We have to try and nullify that and make the most of our positives in our squad.

“I spoke a lot about relationships in the early part of the season because we brought some players in and the transitional feel of that. With players like Son and Kane, they have worked on that for a good few years now and I suppose we are in the early stages of that. Yes, I would love our players to gain relationships like that, so they know what each other are doing and have that level of talent.”

Victory against Spurs would underline Chelsea’s title credentials.

On the day that Roman Abramovich will celebrate his 1000th game in ownership of the club, Lampard says he accepts the responsibility of leading them back to the summit if English football and beyond.

He said: “I still feel we are in a real process. I cannot be happy until we get to what I feel is the end of that, although there probably never is an end to that – we always want more.

“But we are in the early stages and last year for sure with the ban, was transitional, and I felt the support of the club and we worked bloody hard to get in the Champions League spots, and now we have invested, now we want to improve, and I want to be a big help to that. That is my job as head coach, is to try and take that forward.

“I think you can gauge from my response already,  I am genuinely grateful for what Roman Abramovich has brought to the club, and then my part of the deal is to do my absolute best.

“Nothing can be decided in football, nothing is gospel, but I will do may absolute best to get us back to fighting hopefully for titles, which we have done pretty much in a lot of those eras. But a gap had opened up, we are now looking to try and close it.”

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