EPL

Lampard dodges Havertz talk and says Jorginho has 'no point to prove'

By Sports Desk July 10, 2020

Frank Lampard is not prepared to look ahead to next season and the possible signing of Kai Havertz - or the departure of Jorginho - just yet.

Chelsea are reportedly the favourites to sign Bayer Leverkusen star Havertz, although a rumoured price tag of over €90million is unlikely to be met by any suitor.

However, speaking ahead of his side's Premier League clash with Sheffield United on Saturday, head coach Lampard made it clear he is not interested in anything beyond the final matches of 2019-20.

Asked about Havertz, he said: "Unfortunately, it's another answer from me that that is not something I want to broach at this moment in time. My focus is completely on the games that we've got. I don't want to give you ifs, buts or maybes on any potential [deal] for the summer. My focus has to be on the here and now."

Lampard also dismissed a question about whether Jorginho will still be at the club in 2020-21, insisting: "It's irrelevant to me what happens next season."

Jorginho has slipped down the midfield pecking order at Stamford Bridge but an injury to Billy Gilmour, which is set to keep the teenager out for up to four months, means the Italy international is likely to be involved in the final games of the season.

Lampard would not say whether Jorginho will be straight back in the team to face Chris Wilder's side, but he insists the player does not have to prove he is worthy of a place at Chelsea.

"We'll see in terms of selection. I don't want to start talking about the team yet, but I don't think there's a point to prove," Lampard said.

"I spoke about him before the last game: there is no point to prove for Jorginho. He proves it in training, when he plays for me, and simply these things are [about] selection. I just want to see the usual Jorginho.

"I'm very pleased [with his attitude] and it's what I expect from players and what I want at the club because there is no way you go through a season without moments possibly out of the team, without moments that are slightly difficult individually or whatever, and you have to have a toughness to you as a squad, individually and collectively, hence why I made him vice-captain when I came in, because I saw that in his personality.

"I thought he did well when he came on the other day – it was exactly what I wanted in the game at that moment, to take control, to drive it with his voice and his quality of pass, which he's done for a huge part of this season for us. I was very pleased with him."

Lampard also plans to speak with N'Golo Kante, who will miss Saturday's game, and the Chelsea medical staff about the player's injury problems this season.

The France star has struggled with a succession of fitness concerns this term, something his coach puts down to the fact his pre-season was curtailed by a knee issue.

"The big issue this year was he came to pre-season injured and missed a massive part of pre-season," he said. "We tried to get him quickly fit for the [UEFA] Super Cup, in which he was incredible with his performance, but he was still struggling, and it's been a real domino effect for him.

"It's time maybe to take stock. The injury he's got now isn't really related to the serious nature of the knee injury he had coming into the season, it's just a small injury, which I think is probably more down to the games played and the lack of pre-season now.

"I'm happy to manage a player like him with the levels he's reached over recent years in his career and where he's at. I'm very happy to manage him as we see fit, so that will be a very open conversation between myself, N'Golo, our strength and conditioning coach and the medical team."

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