Frank Lampard sent a message to Fikayo Tomori and the rest of Chelsea academy graduates about competition for regular spots in the team.

At the start of the season, Tomori wasn’t completely out of the picutre.

While he didn’t really start in the Premier League, in September, he still made a couple of starts in the League Cup, along with a second-half cameo from the bench against Liverpool.

But he hasn’t made any appearance since October, and didn’t even make the bench in Saturday’s win over Newcastle despite the absence of Thiago Silva.

Before the game, Lampard insisted that he still believes that Tomori and the other former Chelsea academy players can compete with the new signings.

(Photo by Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images)

“I read some articles and heard some people saying ‘that’ll be the end of it and you won’t see these young boys again’ [with the summer signings in the squad],” Lampard told Chelsea’s official website.

“But I always had a strong belief that the young players who have come through the Academy would compete again this year.

“Look at the performances of Tammy Abraham, Reece James and Mason Mount.

“Fikayo Tomori is staying patient at the minute, Billy Gilmour is back fit – I have absolutely no problem in throwing these young boys in.”

(Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images)

However, the Chelsea boss doesn’t necessarily give these academy products any special treatment — if they want to be in the starting line-up, they have to work for it like everyone else.

“My job is just to pick the best team to win a game — nobody is going to give me medals for debuts or Academy appearances,” the manager added.

“I have to try to pick the best so it’s up to the players themselves.”

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