'Such a weight': Former Chelsea midfielder worried about the pressure on 19-year-old talent

Alan Hudson feels that Frank Lampard is relying too much on the younger members of his squad due to the new signings underperforming.

Speaking to CaughtOffSide, the ex-Chelsea man was critical of the manager’s usage of his youthful side.

His verdict arrived after the Blues 1-0 win over Fulham that was decided by one of Lampard’s most trusted resources in Mason Mount.

Photo by CLIVE ROSE/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

“Frank needs help, which I said all along. I don’t think his youngsters are as good as he thinks, and I said that from day one,” he said.

Lampard actually only started two under the age of 23 at Craven Cottage- Mount and Christian Pulisic- leaving Tammy Abraham, Reece James, Callum Hudson-Odoi, and Kai Havertz on the bench.

He left the job to the experienced likes of Olivier Giroud, Jorginho, Hakim Ziyech, and Cesar Azpilicueta, with none of them making a significant impact.

Photo by Charlotte Wilson/Offside/Offside via Getty Images

It was down to Mount to save Chelsea’s blushes against 10-man Fulham, again demonstrating why Chelsea are so dependent upon him.

Hudson-Odoi was once more a positive influence after coming on as a substitute, causing serious cries for the 20-year-old to be played more from the outset.

Abraham has already scored eight goals and assisted another six this season, whilst James has become the club’s first-choice right back.

Photo by John Walton – Pool/Getty Images

Despite all this fanfare for the infant players, Hudson insisted that Lampard has put too much trust on their fledgling shoulders, picking out one individual who didn’t even feature against Fulham.

“To rely on the likes of Billy Gilmour is such a weight to put on his young shoulders, because the expectations since spending all of that money is so sky high.”

Lampard has often been forced to rely Gilmour and the rest because his newest recruits have not yet reached the level set by their expensive price tags.

Havertz was an unused sub at the weekend and Timo Werner missed a gilt-edged chance late on to end his 11 game Premier League goal drought.

Photo by JOHN WALTON/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

The Chelsea Chronicle View

I couldn’t disagree more with Hudson’s statement, especially about the youngsters not being as good as Lampard thinks.

Mount has not only become integral for Chelsea, and arguably their most important asset, but is central to England’s plans as well. Abraham, James and Hudson-Odoi all deserve a place in Lampard’s line-up.   

Gilmour has been brilliant whenever selected and doesn’t look daunted by any expectation, as do any of the younger players.

Nathaniel is a football journalist who graduated from the University of Derby. He has worked at Burton Albion as part of their media team for two years. Nathaniel produces regular articles for the club’s official website and match-day programme. He covered the 2018 U20 Women’s World Cup in Brittany and has reported from grounds ranging from non-league up to the Premier League.