EPL

Lampard urges Abraham to forget contract and focus on form

By Sports Desk July 06, 2020

Tammy Abraham has been warned by Chelsea boss Frank Lampard to focus on his faltering form as opposed to a new contract.

Abraham made a superb start to his breakthrough Premier League campaign, scoring 12 top-flight goals before the turn of the year, while also netting for the first time at senior international level with England.

However, the 22-year-old has not scored since January 11 and lost his starting place upon the post-coronavirus restart.

Timo Werner's pending arrival from RB Leipzig further complicates matters for Abraham, who is yet to agree an extension to a Chelsea deal that expires in June 2022.

"I think Tammy's contract, we're not at a critical level with it and I'll leave that between him and the club to discuss that side of it," Lampard said ahead of Tuesday's trip to Crystal Palace.

"I don't think it's something that's in his mind. It certainly shouldn't be.

"What needs to be in his mind now is these games we have coming up and how much he can give us on the pitch, whether he's coming on as sub or starting games.

"He has had a really good season. He hasn't scored so much in the second half of the season and, as a young player, it's always clear when you have those periods there's only one way out of it.

"That's work and repetition in training – every moment you get trying to make the most out of it.

"I just think that's where Tammy's at. The contract will hopefully look after itself between him and the club. He just needs to focus on giving us that Tammy that we had earlier in the season, who was giving defenders so much of a problem during games and scoring regularly.

"It all came form how he was training and working through the week. You could see it in his demeanour, which meant he performed on the match days. That's what he just has to sustain all the time."

Lampard has generally fielded more gushing enquiries over the group of Chelsea youngsters he has blooded this season.

Mason Mount and Fikayo Tomori were selected alongside Abraham in Gareth Southgate's England squad, joining club team-mates Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Callum Hudson-Odoi in winning Three Lions caps.

USA international Christian Pulisic is the current toast of the Stamford Bridge fanbase, while Reece James and Billy Gilmour offer more compelling evidence of a bright near future in west London.

Nevertheless, Lampard was keen to caution that troughs such as the one Abraham is enduring are inevitable sequels to the peaks for youngsters enjoying lavish praise.

"We get very excited with young talent and young players, and rightly so," he said. "We've seen it this season and that's why I try to stay pretty grounded when I get asked a lot about the youth, particularly earlier in the season.

"It's really hard to come into this Premier League with the level that it's at and sustain performances or be in the side all the time. There's competition, games are hard.

"So whether its Tammy, whether it's Mason, whether it's Fikayo – they'll all have periods of real input, playing regularly, and periods when they're not so much.

"That's something that we all have to be a bit calm with from the outside and expect that.

"The main thing for me, working behind the scenes with them all is they understand that and understand they will have those little moments and not lose confidence – I'm always there to support them on that one.

"But they also need to continue the work and never think they've cracked it. That's a message for all the young players, not just mine."

Lampard added: "I've been there, I know how hard it is to break through. But once you break through it's possibly harder to sustain it and move on to the different level, which top players do – sustaining great performances for years.

"All these younger players here potentially have it. A lot of it is in their hands at this point."

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