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Lampard sends message to ‘top class’ Hudson-Odoi

Frank Lampard has told the winger he remains a key part of his plans, despite spending most of the season on the fringes at Stamford Bridge.  

The arrival of Hakim Ziyech means Hudson-Odoi is likely to get limited starts – but Lampard insists has urged him to remain patient.

“I am seeing constant improvements from him,” said the Chelsea manager after his goal in the 2-1 win against Rennes on Tuesday. “I knew he’d had a couple of good performances for the England Under-21s last week.

“I know he wants more minutes, but I have competition in that area.

“If he isn’t getting minutes in a period it doesn’t mean he is out of favour with me. He certainly isn’t.”

Hudson-Odoi was convinced to turn down a potential move to European champions Bayern Munich in favour of a long-term deal at Chelsea. But a £220million summer spending has intensified competition for places in Lampard’s side, with Ziyech’s place on the right of attack cemented after the Moroccan’s outstanding start.  

But Hudson-Odoi took the opportunity to send a reminder of his quality on a rare start in Tuesday’s Champions League tie by opening the scoring in France.

Lampard told Chelsea’s website: “He is still a developing player, to a degree.

“The bit of quality he shows with the first two touches before he got his shot away was top class. I know he can do that.

“There are loads of great things about Callum, and I know there are things he can improve in his game. He knows that.

“He is a big player for Chelsea, he has a big future with us. His all-round game was fantastic, and he got his goal too.”

Lampard also welcomed the news that fans will soon be allowed back into stadiums.  

“First and foremost, we want fans back,” he added. “I’m not sure exactly how the system will work, it’s something that needs to be discussed further. But what was really nice for me was the positive nature of the fact that there’s movement and something will happen if it feels safe.

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“That’s the most important thing, because these are very uncertain times.

“So hopefully the level playing field remains, but we have some fans back and we move forward quickly.

“I’m just happy with the news because there are a lot of things that have been disrupted in life recently, which are more important than football.

“But in football, just in terms of our jobs and playing in stadiums and wanting fans back for the atmosphere, what it means for the fans, it is becoming more and more apparent every game that we play.

“So if safe then of course we’re really happy.”


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