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Lampard insists Hudson Odoi has a ‘big part to play’ as Chelsea boss looks to ‘protect’ under fire Kepa

Frank Lampard insists that both Callum Hudson-Odoi and Kepa Arrizabalaga both have a future at Chelsea amid increased competition in each player’s position.

The Blues have drafted in Senegal international goalkeeper Edouard Mendy following heavy criticism of current number one Kepa, the Spaniard having finished with the worst save percentage figures among all the regular Premier League goalkeepers last term.

However, speaking ahead of Tuesday night’s clash against Tottenham in the Carabao Cup, Frank Lampard reckons the criticism that has been directed at the 25-year-old has been ‘unfair’, insisting he will try to ‘protect’ the underfire number one.

“It’s been a difficult time for Kepa and that’s been well-documented,” Lampard said at his pre-match press conference. “I know it and he knows it but we should also understand that he’s a young man and a lot of the spotlight on him has been slightly unfair.

“I have to protect him because I know he’s a good lad and playing with absolute professionalism and intent to do the best he can. I’ve felt strongly about that in the past week.”

Meanwhile, Chelsea winger Callum Hudson-Odoi is also facing increased competition for his place in the squad following the high-profile arrivals of Kai Havertz and Hakim Ziyech.

The three cap England international didn’t feature in either of the clubs opening two Premier League game despite injuries to Ziyech and fellow wide-player, Christian Pulisic, though he came off the bench to score in the dramatic comeback against West Brom at the weekend.

There has been speculation that the 19-year-old could leave Stamford Bridge on loan this summer, though Lampard still reckons he can play a ‘big part’ for the club this season.

“With Callum, I certainly hope he has a big part to play this season,” he added. “When you talk about Ziyech and Pulisic, we’re not inundated with wingers because we lost Pedro and Willian in the summer and we need competition.

“If Callum comes on and makes an impact like he did at West Brom and keeps improving every day, he’s a huge talent.”

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