Jurgen Klopp insisted concern for football was at the heart of the Project Big Picture proposals rejected by Premier League clubs this week. 

The Liverpool boss is glad reform was discussed after the Reds and Manchester United led wide-ranging suggestions that were unanimously rejected, though a bailout for League One and League Two teams was agreed at a virtual meeting. 

Changes to Premier League voting rights, a reduction of the top flight to 18 teams, the abolition of the EFL Cup and alterations to existing funding models for lower league clubs and the Football Association (FA) were all up for debate. 

"It is really important we speak about it because I can't remember the last time we did – the space for improvement in football," Klopp said ahead of Liverpool's derby with Everton on Saturday. 

"A lot of times in life there must be a crisis to start talking. I'm happy people are talking. Yes, competitive [football is] positive, no one wants to change that. 

"I am not really involved. I was informed. What I can say, all the people involved are concerned about football. If you want to understand the idea behind it, you listen, if you do not, you just knock it down.  

"There are things to improve in football and that is what these people tried. The process keeps going and the people are talking and that is positive."

The subject was also raised at a host of other managerial news conferences ahead of the weekend's Premier League action. 

United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said: "It's a definite that we, as one of the bigger clubs, have a responsibility to protect the football pyramid or smaller clubs.  

"We have seen lately the impact this pandemic has had on many smaller clubs. For me, a key thing is that we want to get the fans back into the stadiums, which will help the other clubs.  

"I'm very glad we're looking into trying to help and the talks have started - let's make the powers that be decide how we're going to do that." 

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola and Chelsea's Frank Lampard also had their say on the topic. 

"I want the best for football," said Guardiola. "I didn't listen to the hypothetical suggestions, I'm a big fan of the low categories, but honestly I don't know what the situation is.  

"I remember being with Barcelona and here in England arrived the Premier League. There was an incredible amount of criticism about the Premier League, that it wouldn't be good and what was before should've stayed.  

"And after look what happened with the Premier League, it's now maybe the best league in the world.  

"I just want the best for football, making the Premier League as strong as possible – now it's not possible in this pandemic - but also for the low categories, because the old towns and little villages love their teams and that is the point."  

Lampard, who was asked if it is was a mess at the top of football, said: "I won't use the word 'mess' but I think if you look across society and what COVID has done to the world, we're all in difficult, difficult times, so I don't want to be too critical of that.  

"People are trying to find solutions all the time. With the actual football picture, I haven't paid enough attention to give you details but Chelsea have remained - I think since the lockdown - [doing] some of the great work we did. 

"We're certainly intent on making sure we're involved in conversations around protecting the football pyramid, and grassroots all the way up through the EFL and to the Premier League. 

"We'll be very involved in those conversations when needed, as we always are, and try to do the best."

Chelsea will be without Edouard Mendy against Southampton but head coach Frank Lampard is excited to have Hakim Ziyech available at last. 

Goalkeeper Mendy suffered a thigh injury on international duty with Senegal and will be unavailable for Saturday's game at Stamford Bridge. 

Lampard must now decide whether to start Kepa Arrizabalaga, who played in Spain's 0-0 friendly draw with Portugal, or veteran Willy Caballero. 

Thiago Silva will also miss out but there is better news in attack, with Christian Pulisic in line for his second league game of the season and Ziyech finally ready to be in the squad nearly three months after arriving from Ajax. 

"Mendy won't be fit for the match tomorrow," Lampard told reporters on Friday. "We hope the injury's not too long. 

"Thiago Silva, after his trip, he's not unfit but he's not ready to play the game because of the travelling and the game he played, so he won't be in the squad.  Ben Chilwell is in the squad, so he's got over some of the feeling which took him out of the England squad around the injury that he's had for a while.

"Christian Pulisic is in the squad and fit to play. Hakim Ziyech is in the squad, not fit to start but fit to participate some minutes, we hope. 

"He's worked so hard, he's been fantastic in terms of his professionalism to get fit and he looks really good in training. 

"It's match fitness. I've got a really open relationship with him to know where he's at and how I feel about it, so it's just game minutes we need now.

"But yes, of course, I'm excited to get him in and around it to bring what we brought him to the club for, which is to create chances for us, to be the talented player that we saw at Ajax and I look forward to seeing him play." 

Defender Antonio Rudiger is also vying for game time, having played all three of Germany's recent matches despite having not yet made an appearance for Chelsea this season. 

"Every player can play their way into the starting XI, the squad, that's in every player's hands," Lampard said. "That's how I try and work here: things I do are always for the best for the team, for the club, because we're trying to get results every week. 

"Players all know that and the beauty of the window now being shut is we can get to work, know what the squad is, everyone knows they can contribute, and we'll need them and rely on them because of the amount of games we play. 

"Toni's the same as every player on that one."

When Callum Hudson-Odoi signed a new four-year contract with Chelsea in September 2019, the young winger looked destined for a big future with his boyhood club.

Having come through the club's academy and shown flashes of immense potential with the senior side, Chelsea were desperate to tie him down to a new deal as last year had seen Bayern Munich persistently pursue the teenager.

Chelsea are reported to have rejected at least four offers from Bayern for Hudson-Odoi in 2019, and then, having seen plenty of young homegrown talent afforded chances in the first-team at Stamford Bridge, he eventually put pen to paper.

At the time, that appeared to be the end of the story – Hudson-Odoi would surely go on to become a regular with Chelsea and become the superstar his potential suggested he could be.

But eight months on and Hudson-Odoi's future is arguably murkier than ever. Injuries haven't helped, but his form has been underwhelming ever since signing that contract.

Despite this, Bayern remain an interested party, with Hansi Flick acknowledging as such on Saturday. Key decisions await for Chelsea and the player – Hudson-Odoi in particular needs to work out whether he is willing to fight for his future at the club.

Below, we've taken a look at his performance against Palace - a game he was handed his first Premier League start of the season in - with a little help from Opta data...

Flashes of promise

Although media reports in the past 24 hours claimed Chelsea and Bayern are in talks regarding a deal for Hudson-Odoi, the winger was somewhat surprisingly picked for Saturday's 4-0 win over Palace.

Whether Frank Lampard had been impressed with his training this week or was giving him one final chance to prove his worth is unclear, though it's difficult to say Hudson-Odoi showed himself to be indispensable.

The scoreline masked the overall quality of the match, which for the most part was poor, but Chelsea came on strong in the second half and ultimately had too much for a Palace side that offered nothing in attack.

Hudson-Odoi certainly wasn't anonymous – he was involved in the build-up to the opening two goals, finding Cesar Azpilicueta whose shot was blocked into Ben Chilwell's path for the first, before then passing to the left-back as he set up Kurt Zouma to make it 2-0.

He also found Tammy Abraham with a good cross – one of his two key passes – in the second half, only for the striker to head wide from close range.

But that's about as good as it got for Hudson-Odoi.

A passenger off the ball

Of the Chelsea starting XI, only Abraham (34) – the target man – and goalkeeper Edouard Mendy (27) had fewer touches than Hudson-Odoi, while he was also only involved in two duels.

By comparison, Kai Havertz engaged in 16 duels as he looked to assert himself both on and off the ball.

One of Hudson-Odoi's supposed strengths is his direct dribbling and ability to beat his man, yet he failed to complete a single take-on against Tyrick Mitchell, the inexperienced Palace back-up left-back who was making just his eighth Premier League outing.

Among the few occasions he managed to get around Mitchell, using his pace, he created the aforementioned chance for Abraham. Had he tried his luck against the defender more often, perhaps Chelsea would have had more luck down that flank.

But arguably the most glaring of Hudson-Odoi's shortcomings relates to his effectiveness when not in possession.

This is no new criticism, he has been aware of the need to improve in this respect since at least January 2019, when Maurizio Sarri said: "He has to improve in movements without the ball. He has to improve in the defensive phase."

Lampard, too, has made similar observations and as recently and last month seemed to criticise the 19-year-old's work rate.

Against Palace he was notable for his absence in the defensive phase – he was the only player of the Chelsea starting XI who failed to make a single tackle, clearance or interception. Even Christian Pulisic, brought on for Hudson-Odoi in the final seven minutes, attempted two tackles and made a pair of clearances.

It's not daft to expect a player, who is seemingly fighting for his future, to perhaps increase his work rate off the ball when little is going well on it, yet that intensity was lacking from Hudson-Odoi.

Lampard insists Hudson-Odoi is "absolutely" in his plans, but whether the player wants to be is another matter.

Frank Lampard stressed Callum Hudson-Odoi remains a part of his plans at Chelsea, despite links to Bayern Munich re-emerging ahead of the transfer deadline.

Reports suggest Bayern are in talks with the Blues to bring the teenage winger to Bavaria on a loan deal ahead of the window closing on Monday, though Hudson-Odoi did make his first Premier League start of 2020-21 in Chelsea's 4-0 win over Crystal Palace on Saturday.

Bayern have had a long-standing interest in England international Hudson-Odoi, but he signed a five-year contract with Chelsea last September.

However, with Christian Pulisic, Hakim Ziyech, Timo Werner and Kai Havertz having all been added to Lampard's squad in recent windows, there is now a lot more competition for places in the attacking roles.

"Callum is absolutely part of my plans here," Lampard told reporters after the win over Palace.

"We have Pulisic and Ziyech but need options on the wing.

"What Callum showed today is exactly what he needs to show. I'm very pleased with him.

"By Monday we will have a definitive answer.

"What Callum wants will come into consideration, but it has to be right for everyone."

All of the Blues' goals came in the second half, with Jorginho scoring two penalties following efforts from Ben Chilwell and Kurt Zouma.

The Italy midfielder's second spot-kick was the bone of some contention, though, as Tammy Abraham initially grabbed the ball before captain Cesar Azpilicueta stepped in and handed it to Jorginho, much to the striker's anger.

Lampard insisted he had no problems with Abraham's desire to take the penalty, but said Chelsea had a clear, defined order when it came to spot-kick takers.

"It's been dealt with," he told BT Sport. "In the dressing room. No problems, just dealt with.

"I want leaders, and I don't mind a little bit of conflict. If Tammy wanted to take it because he wanted a goal, then he can get put in his place a little bit.

"I appreciate his eagerness because his performance deserved a goal but those are the rules, you don't jump ahead of the list."

Frank Lampard has saluted the "faultless attitude" of Mason Mount but is wary of pushing the young midfielder's credentials as a future Chelsea captain.

A week on from a dressing-room row between a reportedly furious Lampard and defender Marcos Alonso at West Brom, Chelsea's manager made the case for Mount being a model professional.

Lampard declined to talk in detail about the case of Alonso, who was said to have watched some of the second half of the game at the Hawthorns from the Chelsea team bus.

But in terms of how it sat within the culture he is trying to establish at Chelsea, Lampard was clear that his players must "stick together in every moment" and insisted he would not hold a grudge.

When it comes to 21-year-old Mount, Lampard is certain he has a player whose commitment is absolute.

Mount's penalty miss against Tottenham in the EFL Cup shoot-out on Tuesday has been brushed off by his manager, who missed spot-kicks himself on occasion in his own playing career.

What is clear to Lampard is that the academy product has something special. Whether that leads to the captaincy is a different matter.

"I don't want to make that statement, because it might be a way off, it might not be," Lampard said, on being asked if he considered Mount a future leader.

"Captains come in different shapes and forms and I don't want to put that burden on his shoulders at this point.

"But what I'd say is he's got a faultless attitude in terms of how he approaches the game. That's what has got him into this position so far.

"He gets picked regularly in the England squad because I know Gareth Southgate and [England assistant] Steve Holland have absolute respect for how he comes and trains and performs for them.

"There's a fascination with Mason. He's homegrown and he's a young player who has come in and got regularly into the team.

"I understand sometimes that when you're homegrown and young, there can be people who look at that and ask questions as to why he's playing so many games. What will overcome everything is Mason's talent and attitude."

Mount has been a fixture in the Chelsea team in the early weeks of this season, but Lampard said there may come a time when he is used more sparingly, given the resources Chelsea possess.

If he drops out of the side, or onto the bench, Lampard has no doubt Mount will be pressing to be back in the side.

"The thing with Mason is that he always wants to be better. What I want to see is the competition that arrived at the club around him make him raise his levels," Lampard said, ahead of Saturday's Premier League clash with Crystal Palace.

"Mason has a lot more levels to go up in the game. Mason is a humble lad who has had a real dream to play for Chelsea. The thing that has made him special is he's gone and attacked that dream with the talent he has and made it through pure hard work.

"He’s naturally very fit, so that part has helped at the start of the season. Things may change around that, but Mason's going to be a big part of this squad."

Frank Lampard has backed Mason Mount to shrug off penalty frustration and remain a big player for Chelsea - as the Blues boss admits he could let some stars leave Stamford Bridge.

A major transfer spree has seen Chelsea bolster their squad significantly since last season and while Mount may remain integral to Lampard's plans, some others may need to leave to find regular football.

It could mean players such as Ruben Loftus-Cheek or Fikayo Tomori, both full England internationals, leave on loan before the Premier League transfer window closes on Monday.

"With every player, if it's a loan you have to work out what's best for the player, what's best for the club," Lampard said. "I would consider something for all of them but we'll broach player by player. Once the window shuts, every player here will be used. We'll know more Monday."

Lampard said it was not a question of "thinning out" but he accepted Chelsea's squad is large.

It could be that Antonio Rudiger is another to leave before the deadline, with the German defender having been linked recently to Tottenham, but Lampard stressed there were "no more developments" in his case.

Mount should rest assured that Lampard considers him a major player for Chelsea's future, and for the present.

The 21-year-old midfielder has started all three of Chelsea's Premier League games so far, but he was the man to miss from 12 yards in Tuesday's penalty shoot-out in the EFL Cup as Chelsea lost 5-4 to Tottenham on spot-kicks after a 1-1 draw.

Lampard said a penalty miss for Mount in that competition was "par for the course", saying: "He'll go on to play many more games, much more important games."

There is no doubt in Lampard's mind that Mount should put the disappointment in context and move on. Chelsea are back in action against Crystal Palace in the Premier League on Saturday.

"Everybody rallied around Mason as they would when anyone misses. I've been on both sides. His biggest disappointment is the feeling that he may have let us down - absolutely the opposite," Lampard said.

"He's been fantastic for us over the last 18 months."

Frank Lampard has vowed there will no repeat of his touchline row with Jose Mourinho when he comes up against his former England boss Roy Hodgson.

Chelsea manager Lampard will pitch his side against Hodgson's Crystal Palace on Saturday in the Premier League.

That follows four days on from Chelsea's EFL Cup penalty shoot-out defeat at Tottenham, where Lampard and Mourinho appeared to briefly fall out.

To see the pair rowing was a surprise, given Lampard enjoyed great success under Mourinho as a player with Chelsea, and both men later played down their dispute, insisting their long-standing friendship remained unaffected.

Lampard is certain he and Hodgson will keep it civil at Stamford Bridge, describing his 73-year-old rival as "a straight-down-the-line manager, person and coach".

"His career is beyond exceptional. I have so much respect for him and the way he carries himself. There won't be any touchline spat between me and Roy," Lampard said.

Mourinho claimed after the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium game that he was offering Lampard advice when the situation appeared to become heated, describing his comments as "just an opinion of an old coach to a young talented coach".

But the suggestion Mourinho was merely offering words of wisdom came as a surprise to his former midfield star.

Lampard said on Friday: "I don't think remarks on the touchline during a game can be called advice. I think he can say that after. I would always be happy to take advice from fellow managers, outside football. I think it moulds you. But I don't think the Jose incident was ever advice."

Lampard needs to keep all his focus for events on the pitch, given Chelsea's rocky start to the season.

An opening win at Brighton and Hove Albion was followed by a defeat to champions Liverpool and a 3-3 draw at West Brom last weekend, when Chelsea had to battle back from 3-0 behind.

The midweek cup exit extinguished Chelsea's trophy hopes in that competition and Lampard hopes to see his players find some consistency, starting with a win over Palace and building from there.

He said: "We want to find that feeling of winning and winning, which we're capable of. We've got new signings getting more fit and settled. I'm not concerned. We'll attack with confidence and a real desire to win."

Hakim Ziyech, recruited from Ajax, remains on the sidelines due to a knee injury, but Christian Pulisic is set to be on the bench against Palace after recovering from a hamstring problem.

Lampard is looking forward to the prospect of being able to field Pulisic with new signings Ziyech, Kai Havertz and Timo Werner.

"I think they all will bring out the best in each other," said the Chelsea manager.

Aston Villa have signed attacking midfielder Ross Barkley on a season-long loan deal from Chelsea.

Barkley had made three appearances for Frank Lampard's side in the early stages of the new campaign – scoring in last week's EFL Cup win over Barnsley – but will now spend 2020-21 with Villa.

Villa boss Dean Smith described the signing as "a real coup" as his in-form team look to build on their narrow Premier League survival last season.

Barkley, 26, joined Chelsea from Everton in January 2018 and has been part of squads who have won the FA Cup and Europa League.

However, he has started just 28 Premier League matches in his two-and-a-half-year stay at Stamford Bridge amid struggles to recapture his peak form and fitness displayed while at Everton.

Barkley has 33 caps for England, last appearing at international level in a match against Bulgaria in October 2019.

He joins a Villa team who have won all four of their matches so far this season, two each in the Premier League and EFL Cup.

"Capturing a player of Ross's quality is a real coup for our club and I am certain he will thrive here and improve our team," said Smith as the move was confirmed on Wednesday.

Chelsea head coach Frank Lampard praised Edouard Mendy following his debut for the Blues in their EFL Cup loss to London rivals Tottenham as Kepa Arrizabalaga watched from the bench.

Mendy made his first Chelsea appearance after leaving Rennes in a reported £20million deal last week and impressed, despite Tuesday's 5-4 penalty shoot-out defeat in the round of 16.

Starting ahead of embattled team-mate and the world's most expensive goalkeeper Kepa, who was dropped for the 3-3 Premier League draw at West Brom as Lampard turned to Willy Caballero, Mendy produced a good save to thwart Sergio Reguilon in the second half.

Discussing Mendy's performance at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, Lampard told reporters: "I thought he was very good. I think he made a couple of good saves, one particularly good save.

"He came and caught a few balls, even the one he comes for and doesn't catch, the idea that he wants to and be positive isn't a bad thing. Very, very pleased with every part of his game really."

Erik Lamela's equaliser cancelled out Timo Werner's first-half opener for Chelsea in normal time as penalties were needed.

Werner – a high-profile signing from Bundesliga side RB Leipzig – struck his first Blues goal 19 minutes into the contest before Tottenham's Lamela drilled past Mendy with seven minutes remaining.

The first nine penalties of the ensuing shoot-out were converted before Mason Mount clipped the outside of the left post with the 10th, allowing Spurs to progress.

"Listen, I don't think 'a shattering blow' is what it should be, I know it was a disappointing night to get knocked out of the Carabao Cup," Lampard said. "Mason will have many more nights for this club and for his country where he'll play in games of huge importance and he'll be the deciding factor in a positive way.

"So no, Mason's got my support at all times, and the team's, and everybody around it. You miss a penalty, it's a collective when you get this far in a game like this."

Lampard added: "We were dominant and you want to score more goals at that point because of the amount of possession and chances. Callum [Hudson-Odoi] had a good chance for us in the first half.

"I think probably Tottenham would have felt that, they would have felt that hard and they changed their game and went longer in their build, which meant our press, which had been fantastic in the first half, wasn't so relevant up the pitch. They turned us round and made us run backwards rather than being able to press forwards. And then it becomes really difficult, to be fair to the lads.

"We could have been better in the second half and maybe dealt a bit better with that physical nature of Tottenham's game but it slightly changed the case of the game but I think even so, they had some chances second half and so did we and at 1-0, one more goal finishes it for us and we didn't get that."

Frank Lampard and Jose Mourinho made light of their touchline spat as Tottenham prevailed against Chelsea in the EFL Cup.

Tottenham won 5-4 on penalties in the EFL Cup last 16 after Erik Lamela's equaliser cancelled out Timo Werner's first-half opener in normal time on Tuesday.

During the London derby at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, Chelsea boss Lampard and Spurs counterpart Mourinho were involved in a heated exchange in the first half.

Mourinho and Lampard enjoyed incredible success together as manager and player at Chelsea, where the pair won two Premier League titles together among other honours.

But there was no love lost between Lampard and Mourinho in the EFL Cup tie, though both were quick to praise each other after the match when asked about the incident.

"We were having some fun on the line," Lampard told reporters following Mason Mount's missed penalty. "I get on well with Jose and I think he said that to me.

"I commented on the fact that he seemed to speak more with the referee than he speaks with his players so it is just a moment with us.

"I have a huge respect for Jose, no matter what he says on the touchline. I think he was feeling the sense of the first half and how it was. All was well at the end of the game and that will never change."

Mourinho added: "With Frank the most important thing is my feelings towards him rather than any words we exchanged. I owe him everything he gave me, he always gave me everything he had as a player and I never forget that.

"My feelings towards him will always be feelings of how much I owe him for how much of an incredible player, friend he was.

"The only thing I was telling him, just an opinion of an old coach to a young talented coach, which was when the players need us it is when they are losing, when they are winning we don't need to be the protagonists of the touchline, we need to be there when they are losing.

"In the last match when they were losing 3-0 [against West Brom] I felt really sorry for him because he was sad and quiet in his chair. In terms of football I can't teach him anything, he knows football, it is just an opinion, stay on the touchline when your team is losing and stay calm when your team is winning."

Chelsea midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek is set to leave on loan before the transfer window closes as Frank Lampard attempts to whittle down his bloated squad.

Loftus-Cheek started Chelsea's opening match at Brighton and Hove Albion but was hooked after an hour and left out of the squad for the games with Liverpool and West Brom.

The 24-year-old has struggled with injuries recently and finds himself down the list of Lampard's preferred midfield starters when everyone is fit.

Aston Villa, Southampton and West Ham have all been tipped to move for the 10-cap England international and Lampard may allow Loftus-Cheek to play elsewhere for the rest of the season.

"I'm very open with Ruben and we've had a couple of conversations over the past week," Lampard said. "He's fit as a fiddle and can play week in, week out. 

"He would have been playing games earlier if it wasn't for the lockdown and restart. But there's a possibility Ruben may go out to play games.

"We hold him in high regard here but that could be a good option for him. If not he'll be competitive in this squad as well because of the quality he has. 

"Hopefully that will be a big plus for us. I'm relaxed about it but I want to find the best path for Ruben and the best path for us. We'll see over the next week."

Loftus-Cheek impressed on loan with Crystal Palace in 2017-18 and was used regularly by Chelsea the following season, featuring 40 times in all competitions.

However, he has since suffered from a succession of injury issues and has struggled to make the most of his opportunities when they have arrived under Lampard.

"He wants to play and the reality is we have a lot of competition in those areas," the Blues boss added.

"Ruben is versatile and can play different roles in midfield so I was looking forward to working with him. He gives us something different in terms of his physicality, how he plays and how he receives the ball.

"I also think there's a priority that he plays games – there's a delicate balance that we need to get right over the next week. 

"He's had a difficult time of it – his injury was a really bad one and he hasn't played as many minutes as he would have liked for different reasons. 

"Just before his injury he was playing well and contributing. We'll make the decision what's best for him and best for us."

Chelsea have made seven signings this year and Lampard acknowledged the importance of offloading some more players before next Monday's transfer deadline.

"If it's right for the player and for us then it can be possible," he said. "The squad is very big but the situation has to be right for us. 

"It's also an uncertain time in terms of what's going on at the moment. We're worried about players having to isolate so we have to be comfortable with the squad we have. But there is the possibility a few will move on."

Frank Lampard feels the intense spotlight on Kepa Arrizabalaga has been slightly unfair as he revealed the goalkeeper may yet play again for Chelsea, despite the arrival of Edouard Mendy.

Kepa was first choice to start the new season but lost his place after the 2-0 defeat to Liverpool, during which he made a crucial error to allow the reigning Premier League champions to double their lead at Stamford Bridge.

Willy Caballero was selected on Saturday against West Brom, where Chelsea fought back from 3-0 down at half-time to salvage a point, while Mendy has joined from Rennes to add further competition.

The new signing may push Kepa further down the pecking order, though Lampard has praised the Spain international's professionalism in training since being dropped.

"I certainly wouldn't go to the point as far as saying he [Kepa] has played his last game for Chelsea," Lampard told the media ahead of Tuesday's EFL Cup clash with Tottenham.

"It's been a difficult time for Kepa, that's well documented. I know it and he knows it, but we certainly shouldn't jump to that conclusion. 

"Also, and I've felt quite strongly about this in the last week, there is also the understanding that Kepa is a young man, and a lot of the spotlight on him has become slightly unfair. 

"I have to protect him because I know he's a good lad. He's playing with absolute professionalism and attempting to do the best he can, as all the squad have to."

The Chelsea boss revealed Mendy has quickly settled into life at the club and is in the squad to face Spurs, along with another new recruit in left-back Ben Chilwell, who made his bow off the bench in the last round against Barnsley.

However, Hakim Ziyech is not quite ready for a debut in the midweek London derby. Christian Pulisic is also unavailable, though the winger is nearing a return to action for the Blues.

"It's all very positive, the early signs and interactions, as a man and also on the training pitch," Lampard said of Mendy, who cost a reported £20million fee.

"He settled in very well in those few days and we've made him very welcome, as always.

"It's competition. He's a good goalkeeper and we know a lot about him. We will see how we go."

Jose Mourinho may have a mouthwatering EFL Cup clash with former club Chelsea up next, but the Tottenham boss admits his priority has to be the Europa League amid a condensed fixture list. 

After Sunday's controversial 1-1 draw with Newcastle United in the Premier League, Spurs are back in action just over 48 hours later as they host London rivals Chelsea. 

However, while Tuesday's tie pits two of the top-flight's biggest clubs against each other, Mourinho is more interested in what comes after the meeting with his old employers, as his squad have little time to recover before facing Maccabi Haifa on Thursday. 

Victory over their opponents from Israel will clinch a place in the group stage of the Europa League, a welcome financial boost for Spurs during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. 

"I would like to fight for the EFL Cup, but I don't think I can," Mourinho told the media.  

"We have a game on Thursday that gives us not as much money as the Champions League, but the group phase of the Europa League gives us a certain amount that, for a club like us, is very important.  

"It's a competition with a possible group phase, that gives us a good chance to go through to the next knockout stage, so this game on Thursday is very important to us."

After European duties in midweek, Tottenham then travel to Old Trafford to face Manchester United in league action on Sunday.

They are likely to do so without Son Heung-min, however, as the South Korean forward suffered a hamstring injury against Newcastle and is set for an extended spell out of action.

Considering the fixture congestion, Mourinho expects to have to deal with a spate of injuries in the coming weeks - something his Chelsea counterpart, Frank Lampard, does not have to worry about, considering the "fantastic" squad he has at his disposal.

"Chelsea played Saturday, they have Sunday and Monday, they play Tuesday and then again on the weekend," the Portuguese boss said.

"Their fantastic squad, if the manager decides not to rotate, he can perfectly play with the players that he wants. 

"As you know, and forgetting the past Thursday, we’ve played on the Sunday, we then play on Tuesday, Thursday and then on Sunday again. Son was just the first – more will come."

Frank Lampard was in no mood to play the blame game after an error from Thiago Silva on his Premier League debut and says the Brazil centre-back will become crucial for Chelsea.

Silva was at fault for the second of West Brom's three first-half goals at The Hawthorns, as the Blues had to fight back from an error-strewn opening 45 minutes to draw 3-3 thanks to Mason Mount, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Tammy Abraham.

It was the veteran defender's first action in the Premier League at the age of 36 and it was an unfortunate slip in an otherwise steady top-flight bow.

Chelsea boss Lampard said Silva is experienced enough to own up to his mistakes without the need for him to pile in too.

"Listen Thiago Silva is going to be fantastic for us, he's been incredible in his career," Lampard told a post-match news conference. 

"I will not look at him, I can talk about the mistakes - they're clear and we have to be open and honest about that, but I'll not put any blame on him. We're a team that has to react around that and to be fair the team did in the second half. 

"It's nothing on Thiago, I'm sure he'll stand up and say it was a mistake, other than that I thought he was faultless in the game.

"That's his first Premier League game done and in the bank, we'll get more from him as he gets fitter and the team gets fitter." 

Chelsea's equaliser had a hint of fortune, with Kai Havertz potentially handballing in the area in the build-up.

West Brom boss Slaven Bilic, who also felt there a was a foul prior to Hudson-Odoi bringing it back to 3-2, had no doubts the gal should have been chalked off.

"The third goal is very difficult to accept," Bilic said. "For me that is so clear that I don't even want to talk about it, it is obvious. 

"It's not maybe, it's not possibly handball, it is handball that's end of story, full stop. How someone can say that's not a handball is beyond me."

Frank Lampard warned his Chelsea side they must quickly cut out basic mistakes but insists the Blues remain a work in progress after fighting back for a 3-3 draw at West Brom.

Chelsea were staring down the barrel of an unexpected defeat at The Hawthorns after an inept display of defending saw them 3-0 down inside 27 minutes.

Errors from Marcos Alonso and Premier League debutant Thiago Silva saw Callum Robinson score twice before Kyle Bartley benefitted from more poor defending at a corner.

But Mason Mount and substitute Callum Hudson-Odoi brought Chelsea back into the game before a third academy graduate in the form of Tammy Abraham rescued a point in injury time.

"It's two points dropped and that's no disrespect to West Brom," Chelsea boss Lampard told Sky Sports. 

"But to come here and sort of understand the game and know that transition and mistakes is something they'd try to jump on, counter-attack against us and [use] set-pieces – we spoke about it before the game and you can't legislate for pure mistakes, which they were today. 

"Then it gives you a really difficult game to get back in to. I can laud character because we showed character and persistence but we didn't need to if we did things properly in the game.

"They were clear mistakes, the first one Marcos heads it into the middle of the pitch for them to make the transition. The Thiago one is a mistake, he's been around long enough to know that and we'll certainly give him that one in his first game. Then Marcos loses his man for the third goal from the corner. 

"You can do as many meetings as you want, if you make those mistakes you're going to give yourself a mountain to climb."

Lampard felt the introductions of Cesar Azpilicueta and Hudson-Odoi at half-time brought a different dimension to Chelsea.

"It brought a bit of urgency, a bit of speed of pass to move it," he added. 

"Azpi brings personality straight into the team even at left-back. Callum one-v-one brought something different, he got at people. Those are things Callum can and needs to do, he made a big difference."

Lampard said the fact Chelsea created going forward meant it was an easy message to try and lift his team at the break and is convinced a new-look squad will come good.

"We created two or three really great chances in first half and i thought we'd create more," he said. 

"The only problem when you're 3-0 down is West Brom are going to seriously protect the lead which means dropping back, frustrating moments and it was about staying patient. We did that to a big degree. 

"But it's a lesson for us in the detail of a game, it doesn't how much you create, and we will create a lot, we will get better.

"We're definitely finding our way with new players in the team and a lack of pre-season. 

"Part of the process of getting better is accepting things that aren't right in our game today because we lost two points."

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.