Chelsea started their new season with a lot of uncertainty as they lost key figures in both the player and administrative departments.
A relatively untested Frank Lampard was appointed as the head coach and Eden Hazard made the inevitable move to Real Madrid.
However, a raging debate emerged amongst the Chelsea fan-base when Frank Lampard slotted in two names in his first Premier League game as Chelsea boss.
Many questioned Lampard’s decision to start a certain 21-year-old Tammy Abraham and a 20-year-old Mason Mount.
There were perhaps more experienced options for the Englishman to call upon but Lampard stuck with his guts – and Chelsea fans now more than ever, will be happy he did.
Since 2017, Mount, 20, has lit up Dutch football with Vitesse Arnhem, starred in the Championship with Derby, broken into the England set-up and has now begun the process of establishing himself in Chelsea’s team.
There has been a bumper new long-term Chelsea contract too to underline his rising status.
And, after his blistering start to the season, he is now in line to be named in Gareth Southgate’s first squad of the season — named on Thursday.
Lampard thought he knew as well as anyone just how good Mount was coming into this season. He was quick to heap praise on the youngster after a string of impressive performances.
‘He can go absolutely to the top. I don’t want to heap expectation on him.
‘But I will tell him that every day because I feel it, and when someone’s humble and hard-working like him, it doesn’t matter.
‘He’s driven and not going to get carried away with himself. It’s the way his family have brought him up. A pleasure to work with.’
He was a central figure in Lampard’s Derby side who reached the Championship play-off final, inspiring them throughout last season with 11 goals, six assists and countless displays of his considerable talent.
But this season Lampard has discovered that Mount might be even better than he realised.
And he would not be the only one forced to reassess. Some of those at Chelsea who have worked with Mount as he has risen through the ranks did not think he would quite be ready to start the season.
Yet, here he is, not just starting the season but influencing Chelsea’s performances significantly and looking like he belongs in the top flight.
No Hazard? No problem. ? pic.twitter.com/uTuqG8oljE
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) August 24, 2019
He’s not alone and fellow youngster Tammy Abraham is in positive shape as well.
There’s a lot of uncertainty surrounding the Blues this season, but one thing is looking clear – Abraham is ready to lead the line for Chelsea.
The 21-year-old began the season as Frank Lampard’s starting striker, but quickly became the target of criticism after struggling in his first two outings in the top flight. Meanwhile, Olivier Giroud had impressed in the Super Cup defeat to Liverpool, but Lampard remained committed to Abraham, and it is certainly paying off.
Against Norwich, Abraham was electric. His movement – something which Giroud cannot offer – was superb, and he finally got the goals he deserved.
Tammy Abraham's game by numbers vs. Norwich:
2 shots on target
Finding that clinical touch. pic.twitter.com/Gadn75HJza
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) August 24, 2019
His first goal was a perfect example of what Abraham can bring to the side. He began by holding the ball up for the equally impressive Mason Mount on the halfway line, before setting off for the penalty area. He was found by Cesar Azpilicueta’s cross, and he connected with a technically stunning volley to send Blues fans into a frenzy.
His two goals against the Premier League new boys means he’s the first Chelsea player since November 2013 to score at least a brace in a Premier League game for the club.
Of course, the record was previously held by the man who showed faith in Abraham against the Canaries – head coach Frank Lampard.
— Sky Sports Statto (@SkySportsStatto) August 24, 2019
Neither of Chelsea’s alternative forwards could have done that. Giroud wouldn’t have moved around the pitch enough to get involved, whilst Michy Batshuayi would have likely found himself in the wrong position.
Abraham offers everything that Giroud and Batshuayi can do, but he can do it all better. He has speed, strength and intelligence in abundance – if you built the perfect striker, you’d likely come up with something close to him.
Mason Mount has started his Chelsea career on the best possible note and with more consistency in midfield, he will easily be a first-team player and Lampard will be hoping to mould him into something of his own pedigree.
Going forward, it’s clear that neither Giroud nor Batshuayi is the future of Chelsea. The former is 32 years old, whilst the latter has failed to impress three consecutive managers at Stamford Bridge. Fortunately, the future is bright, because the future is Abraham’s to define.
Abraham scores goals and Lampard must let him do so with more playing time so he can get even better.
Lampard has made the right choice in sticking with youth and he’s reaping the rewards without having to spend a penny. Take a bow, Frank.