EPL

Chelsea exits for Rudiger and Hudson-Odoi not ruled out by Lampard

By Sports Desk September 22, 2020

Frank Lampard is not ruling out a move away from Chelsea for Antonio Rudiger or Callum Hudson-Odoi.

Rudiger is yet to feature for Chelsea this season and was left out of the matchday squad for the 2-0 loss to Liverpool at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.

Hudson-Odoi has struggled for regular game time since returning from an Achilles injury in September last year and has only started one match since January.

Chelsea have added Timo Werner, Hakim Ziyech, Kai Havertz, Ben Chilwell, Thiago Silva and Malang Sarr to their ranks since last season, while goalkeeper Edouard Mendy is expected to joint his week.

Asked if his squad was too big and he had some major decisions to make before the transfer window closes on October 5, Lampard said: "Yeah, there are decisions for me to make, for the club to make and for the players themselves to make. That's the situation.

"Of course, I have an idea in my head of the number I want to make the squad healthy, to have healthy competition but not have too many players feeling like they're out of squads, not getting the minutes they want.

"Those are very much conversations we'll have moving forward. It doesn't mean we're forcing any one of those positions or areas to move players on, but those conversations will be ongoing in the next few weeks."

On whether Rudiger or Hudson-Odoi could be on their way out, he said: "It remains to be seen because we're also in a period where the market is not acting like it has done in recent years, in terms of how players move or what level they move at.

"Again the competitive games have just started, I'm very open to those conversations with the players as the next couple of weeks go along. My priority will always be making sure I maintain and keep the strongest squad I can for this club.

"Of course, after that, the individual questions, individual conversations will happen within that, and I will try and make sure I go into the season once the window shuts with a squad that is competitive in a healthy way."

Mason Mount, Tammy Abraham and Fikayo Tomori established themselves in the Chelsea squad last season having spent previous campaigns out on loan.

Despite signing a five-year contract after a move to Bayern Munich failed to come to fruition, Hudson-Odoi remains on the fringes and Lampard urged the 19-year-old winger to prove he merits a regular place in the starting XI.

"You say the players we've got in his position, I think at the moment we have Christian Pulisic injured, Hakim Ziyech injured, we played Timo Werner on the wing the other day, but the absolute natural winger at the minute if he's fit is Callum," said Lampard.

"We know in a Premier League squad and the amount of games we're going to play that we're going to need competition in various areas and back-up in those areas, and competition to make those positions their own. And that's where Callum's at.

"When I talk about Callum, he needs to train, he needs to show in training every day and when he gets opportunities in games he has done, and he will tomorrow [Wednesday] – alright, he will play against Barnsley [in the EFL Cup] – to show in every minute what he can do on and off the ball for the team. That's the position he's at at the minute.

"He's had an early breakthrough in his career because he came through with the talent he had, he's had the injury. Now I just want to see him flourish again."

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