Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Batshuayi and Drinkwater given fresh starts at Chelsea

SoccerNews in English Premier League 6 Jul 2019

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Frank Lampard could revive the Chelsea careers of Michy Batshuayi and Danny Drinkwater after pledging to take an open mind into pre-season.

New boss Lampard oversaw his first training session in Dublin on Friday ahead of friendly dates with Bohemians and St Patrick’s Athletic.

Belgium striker Batshuayi and midfielder Drinkwater formed part of the travelling party and have been told they will get the opportunity to build a future at Stamford Bridge after failing to win favour with previous coaches.

Drinkwater did not play a minute under Maurizio Sarri last term save for a cameo in the Community Shield, while 25-year-old Batshuayi has made four Premier League starts since arriving at the club from Marseille in 2016.

“Everybody who joins up, and it will be staggered, will have the opportunity to show what they can do and their attitude, the way they play and train in pre-season and onwards,” Lampard said.

“I would be a fool to come here with ideas about freezing anybody out. I want to get the best out of the squad.

“Everybody has an opportunity, I have no preconceived ideas about anybody.

“I have got good knowledge of the squad but I need to see them over the next month.”

Brazilian winger Kenedy, centre-back Kurt Zouma and midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko also joined Lampard in Ireland after spending last season on loan at Newcastle United, Everton and AC Milan respectively.

Batshuayi could be the biggest beneficiary of the regime change with Gonzalo Higuain’s return to Italy and a two-window transfer ban limiting Chelsea’s striking stocks.

Olivier Giroud and Tammy Abraham are the only other centre-forwards available to Lampard, as Atletico Madrid are reportedly set to turn Alvaro Morata’s 18-month loan into a permanent deal.

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