Jose Mourinho hopes Frank Lampard looks to Chelsea’s current young players and insists their only problem has been losing Eden Hazard, but now have Kurt Zouma and Tammy Abraham to also make important players.
With a transfer ban imposed, new head coach Lampard will have a unique situation to work with at Stamford Bridge; something Mourinho says could work in their advantage.
In an exclusive interview with Sky Sports News, the former Chelsea boss says he is reserving judgement on Lampard’s managerial prowess until the results come in, and gives an insight into Lampard’s character as a player.
Mourinho insists his former club should use this situation to make the most of what they have at the club, and singles out Zouma for praise, having handed him his debut in 2014 and picking him to play 50 times.
“It depends on what you have in the academy, that’s the point,” Mourinho said. “I think every manager in the world loves to play kids from the academy.
“The question is: what is the product from the academy? What can you work with to improve?
“I think Chelsea is a very special club in relation to that. I just give an example: Chelsea needs a centre-back – Kurt Zouma! You don’t need to buy, you don’t need to spend. Zouma!
“He’s champion of England, he played for Chelsea, played for Stoke in the Premier League, played for Everton in the Premier League, played for France. He’s your player, he’s on loan, where are you going to buy a better player than him? You already have him.
“You want a young striker – Tammy Abraham! He’s yours. He knows the club. He was made at the club, he was educated at the club. He was on loan, he played already some matches in the Premier League, he plays in the Championship but Championship at the highest level with the responsibility to play at a big club like Aston Villa. He’s ready.
“Do you need to buy a young centre forward? No! And Chelsea were criticised many times with the number of players they had on loan, more than 30 players, 40 players, but now the moment arrived and they have answers like nobody else could have.
“They have the answers, so I don’t think it’s any problem for them. The only problem for them is obvious which is that they lost a phenomenal player. Eden Hazard was a special player for Chelsea and they lost him, apart from that, I don’t see any problem for them.”