Football: Chelsea eye 'nasty', clinical strikers in team and in market

Chelsea are pondering how to improve their attacking options this month, and manager Frank Lampard wants reinforcements for top scorer Tammy Abraham. PHOTO: REUTERS
Chelsea are pondering how to improve their attacking options this month, and manager Frank Lampard wants reinforcements for top scorer Tammy Abraham. PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON • Frank Lampard may have taken ill but his assistant Jody Morris has reiterated to the Chelsea players what their manager demands from them.

Just a week ago, Lampard blasted his attackers for not being clinical in front of goal following a 2-0 Premier League loss to Southampton.

It was Morris who spoke to the media before today's FA Cup third-round home tie against Nottingham Forest. He said that Lampard, suffering from a sickness bug since Christmas, should be well enough to be in the dugout.

He delivered a forthright assessment after being asked if Chelsea's young forwards need to develop a nastier mentality.

"There needs to be ruthlessness to your game and you need to be clinical," he said.

"There are moments in games where maybe we would like some of them to be a bit more nasty and we've certainly proved we can be like that. We've gone into games and outfought teams.

"When a team starts working you out more, you need to rely on a few players to perform, particularly further up the pitch."

Poor finishing has cost Chelsea recently after they scored only one goal in two defeats and a draw in the past five league games.

The Blues are pondering how to improve their attacking options this month, with Crystal Palace's Wilfried Zaha, Borussia Dortmund's Jadon Sancho, Lyon's Moussa Dembele and RB Leipzig's Timo Werner prominent on their list of targets.

Lampard wants reinforcements, now that Chelsea's transfer ban has been lifted. It is thought that Sancho is open to the idea of a move to Stamford Bridge, though Dortmund would demand at least £100 million (S$176 million) for the England winger.

Chelsea, who are also monitoring Villarreal's Samuel Chukwueze and CSKA Moscow's Fyodor Chalov, will face a similar problem with Werner. The Germany forward is the biggest star at Leipzig, who are top of the Bundesliga and in the last 16 of the Champions League.

Sources close to Lampard have not ruled out a bid for Zaha, for whom Palace has set a valuation of £80 million. The winger, whose contract runs until 2023, is desperately seeking a new challenge.

Meanwhile, Marcos Alonso will miss today's clash with a hamstring injury, while Fikayo Tomori is also battling a bug and Billy Gilmour another to have been unwell.

Nottingham manager Sabri Lamouchi, whose side are fourth in the Championship and fighting for promotion, knows the size of the challenge today.

He said: "It is very tough. They have quality players and are a fantastic team. Of course we cannot compete at the same level. We just want to not get ridiculed and to disturb them a little bit.

"We must enjoy it, we must fight and we must run all together because it will be a very tough game."

THE GUARDIAN, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE


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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on January 05, 2020, with the headline 'Chelsea eye 'nasty', clinical strikers in team and in market'. Print Edition | Subscribe