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Chelsea hierarchy in disagreement with Lampard over move for rising English star

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Declan Rice

Chelsea hierarchy not convinced by Declan Rice

Speaking on a Q&A session on YouTube, The Athletic’s David Ornstein has claimed that the Chelsea hierarchy is not entirely sold over Frank Lampard’s interest in signing Declan Rice from West Ham United.

The 21-year-old has been on the radars of Chelsea for quite some time now. A former Blues’ academy man, Rice joined West Ham at a young age and has grown into one of the top defensive midfielders in the country.

A regular for club and country now, Rice’s ability to play in midfield and at the heart of the defence makes him an appealing target for Frank Lampard, who is keen to plug the backline after shipping in 54 goals in the PL last season. (h/t Metro)

Declan Rice will add much to the Chelsea backline
Declan Rice is a target for Chelsea manager Frank Lampard

Ornstein claimed on his show that Lampard was keen on converting Rice back into a centre-back. But, there are some reservations within the club regarding a move for the England international over his technical deficiencies. (h/t Express)

“That’s a player that was released by Chelsea’s academy as a 14 year old and some at the club feel, they’re not convinced that he’s addressed the perceived technical deficiencies that encouraged them to let him go at that age.”

The 21-year-old could cost the club around €80m. And some within the club have serious reservations over splashing that much money, given the aforementioned concerns. (h/t Express)

Declan Rice and Mason Mount were together at Chelsea
Declan Rice and Mason Mount were together at Chelsea during the academy days

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Chelsea have been the most active club in the transfer market so far. If the new signings work out as expected, then we should right up there as far as a title challenge is concerned.

Adding another quality centre-back would only make us much stronger. However, it remains to be seen if Lampard is able to convince the board to fund a move for Rice.

A View From The Bridge

Chelsea veteran star backs under-fire teammate to come good once again

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Cesar Azpilicueta backs Kepa Arrizabalaga to come good for Chelsea

According to Football.London, Chelsea skipper Cesar Azpilicueta has backed under-fire goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga to prove himself following what has been a difficult time at the club.

The Spanish international has endured a difficult few months at Chelsea. A spate of poor performances saw him dropped initially in favour of Willy Caballero and then Edouard Mendy.

The latter’s injury saw him return to the starting XI against Southampton last weekend. However, a horrendous mix-up with Kurt Zouma did him few favours.

Chelsea news: Lampard reveals why he ended Azpilicueta's 73-match starting  streak in Premier League

It remains to be seen if Frank Lampard will persist with Kepa for the Champions League clash against Sevilla. The world’s most expensive keeper, Azpilicueta has backed the 26-year-old to showcase what he can do.

“Sometimes you feel like everything goes against you. You have to have the character and personality to face it. I have no doubt Kepa will work hard to reverse the situation.”

As the club captain, Azpilicueta is familiar with kepa and is keen to do his bit to ensure he gets back to his best.

“In football we have difficult times. In my position as captain, obviously I know him from a long time ago. I always try to help him.”

Kepa's gone from first choice at Chelsea to number three' – Error-prone  keeper behind Mendy & Caballero, says Cascarino | Goal.com

Kepa lost his position as the club’s preferred option in goal towards the end of last season. The current season saw him return to the starting line-up. A questionable outing against Brighton was followed by a disaster class against Liverpool.

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He was subsequently dropped in favour of Caballero the subsequent matchday. Kepa recently opened up on his intention to win back the starting spot. However, it would appear that the road back is a long one for the Spaniard.

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Chelsea team news ahead of Champions League opener vs Sevilla

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Edouard Mendy will not be fit to play Southampton

Chelsea team news: Mendy misses out, Pulisic and Ziyech available

According to Football.London, Chelsea will have a plethora of attackers to call upon but will be without one key star in the Champions League opener against Sevilla.

The likes of Christian Pulisic and Hakim Ziyech are back in contention. Both players have returned to action in recent matches and are set to feature against the Europa League champions.

The former made his first start of the season against Southampton last weekend. The latter came on for his Blues debut off the bench in the same game.

Will Chilwell be cleared to play Denmark?
Ben Chilwell has made a bright start to his Chelsea career (Getty Images)

Summer signing Ben Chilwell also played the whole ninety minutes despite missing out for England earlier in the week.

Having arrived at the club injured, the English international is emerging as a dependable option down the left for the Blues.

Striker Timo Werner looked to be in top shape as he earned a well-taken brace against the Saints at the weekend. Thankfully, he showed no sign of the illness he picked up while on national duty with Germany.

A major absentee for Chelsea could be Senegalese international Edouard Mendy. The goalkeeper injured himself last week and is out for the immediate future.

Edouard Mendy will not be fit to play Southampton
Edouard Mendy has been ruled out for Chelsea against Sevilla (Getty Images)

He was pictured training with the Blues earlier today amid hopes that he could make an early return to action.

“Mendy is, at the minute, injured and probably will be fit in the next week or two weeks, and then that will be the decision for me to make about who plays.”

Under-fire goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga replaced Mendy in goal at the weekend. It proved to be another difficult day at the office for the Spaniard, who was involved in a horrendous mix-up with Kurt Zouma for Southampton’s second.

It remains to be seen if Lampard will persist with the Spaniard or bring in Willy Caballero.

Kepa Arrizabalaga is amongst the top earners despite his poor form
Kepa Arrizabalaga is amongst the top earners despite his poor form (Getty Images)

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The Blues will face off against Sevilla and newcomers Krasnodar and Stade Rennais in their Champions League group stage.

A fairly easy draw, Chelsea will be expected to make it to the round of 16 with ease. They can get off to a flyer if they secure all three points against Sevilla on matchday one.

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“We have to learn” – Chelsea new boy joins the chorus in advising his teammates

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Hakim Ziyech urges Chelsea to learn from Southampton setback

Chelsea star Hakim Ziyech made his competitive debut for the club against Southampton last weekend.

The Blues were just a minute away from securing all three points, only for the Saints to equalize in stoppage time. We were once again privy to a 3-3 draw that saw some questionable defensive displays.

Speaking to the club’s website (h/t Twitter), Ziyech has urged his teammates to waste no time and learn from the experience. He admits the Blues cannot afford to let such mistakes occur.

The Moroccan was candidly honest in his assessment of the performance. It augurs well that the players are aware of what they have done and are keen not to repeat it again.

“Of course it will take time, but we also don’t have time, because the games are coming really quick, so we have to learn quickly.”

While the defeat can serve as a learning curve, Ziyech is not keen to experience such heartbreak again.

“This is a moment we can learn from, but it can’t happen in the last minute.”

Ziyech is among a number of summer recruits who have expressed their frustration against the Chelsea rearguard.

Ziyech delighted after making Chelsea debut | Goal.com

German duo Kai Havertz and Timo Werner also urged for improved defensive displays going forward. Bringing in new players appears to have instilled a no-nonsense attitude where they are not afraid to call out poor performances.

Hopefully, the defence will step up in the coming weeks and ensure they too have learnt from their mistakes.

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Chelsea next take on Europa League champions Sevilla in the Champions League group stages. The Blues will hope to go further than the last-16 where they were knocked out by Bayern Munich last season.

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Lampard calls on Chelsea stars to remember last season’s results from Europe

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Frank Lampard urges Chelsea to learn from last year’s Champions League campaign

According to the Evening Standard, Chelsea boss Frank Lampard has urged his side to learn from last season’s Champions League campaign.

The Blues were knocked out in the round of 16 to eventual champions Bayern Munich. Chelsea lost both legs and were outplayed by the German giants.

Lampard hopes his team can do better this time around, ahead of the opener against Sevilla tomorrow.

LONDON, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 03: Kurt Zouma of Chelsea celebrates with teammates after scoring his sides second goal during the Premier League match between Chelsea and Crystal Palace at Stamford Bridge on October 03, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images)

Despite the heavy 7-1 aggregate loss to Bayern Lampard believes the defeat served a purpose. It showcased the quality that is on offer to what was essentially a young Chelsea side.

“The players that were here last year – and I was talking about it with the young players, particularly the Bayern Munich game because it was such a high level of opposition – it will have been a learning curve for them.”

Lampard believes facing the likes of Bayern would have been an excellent experience. Hopefully, the players will strive to close the gap with the Germans by upping their game this time around.

Frank Lampard is amongst the players Werner looks up to
Frank Lampard believes Chelsea can learn from Bayern defeat (Getty Images)

A busy summer ensures Lampard has a much better talent pool to call upon this time around. The likes of Timo Werner and Thiago Silva both were pivotal as RB Leipzig and PSG made the semifinals and finals respectively.

Having players who are used to competing in the European competition will give us a massive boost. There are no free lunches in Europe’s top table and Chelsea can only slack off at their own peril.

“You have to have absolute focus against the level of team we’re playing, particularly as we start against Sevilla.”

Hopefully, we will come away with all three points against reigning Europa League winners Sevilla in our opener.

Chelsea 3-3 Southampton, Premier League: Post-match reaction, ratings - We  Ain't Got No History

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One player who will be missing for Chelsea is Edouard Mendy. Kepa Arrizabalaga replaced the Senegalese star against Southampton but once again came under fire.

While Lampard may have exempted him from blame, it remains to be seen if he will hold onto the starting spot against Sevilla.

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