Chelsea boss Frank Lampard has challenged his sides attacking players to step up and make the difference after the departure of Eden Hazard to Real Madrid this summer.
The Blues scored 63 times in the Premier League last season, with Belgium international Hazard having had a hand in almost half of them, netting 16 times and providing 15 assists.
Even if Chelsea weren’t currently serving a transfer ban they would struggle to replace a player of Hazard’s world-class ability, although Lampard is confident there is still enough quality within his squad to be successful this season.
“We’ll have to find them amongst the group because I know how many goals Eden Hazard was a part of in terms of scoring and assisting.” Lampard told chelseafc.com.
“These are facts that are real and we have to try and address them with work. The challenge is clear for the strikers and the attacking players: ‘Can you be the players to score those goals?’ because the top teams in the league tend to have players who are scoring regularly, that do win games that are tight, that do make you clear in games and good periods when you’re playing well and you need to score enough goals to put the game to bed.
“I haven’t trained with that in mind. I’ve trained as I see the squad I train with. Some of our wingers have been injured. Callum’s (Hudson-Odoi) back training now and Willian missed the first part of the season.
“This is football and you have to adapt constantly. With Eden, we all know the reliance in terms of his output was huge. He’s in the top bracket of world players and football’s attacking players so you have to accept that.
“But I haven’t considered it and the players shouldn’t. The players should just play as they play. There’s enough quality in this team to win games for sure without Eden. He’s not here now so that’s the end of that story.”
Lampard won his first game as Blues boss yesterday after his side beat Norwich 3-2 at Carrow, with academy graduates Tammy Abraham and Mason Mount scoring the goals.