Legend Lampard to Return to Stamford Bridge Without His Star Players

The Blues look forward to welcoming talismanic Blue, Frank Lampard, back for their Carabao Cup clash against Derby County on 30 October, even if he will be sat in the opposition dugout for the duration of the match. The respect between club and former player has never wavered, even when he returned with Man City back in 2014 and scored against the club he played most of his career for. On that occasion, he didn’t celebrate, and the fans gave him a standing ovation when he left the pitch.

And there’s no doubt it’ll be the same story when he returns as manager to face his former side in the important Round of 16 Carabao Cup match at the end of the month. In fact, the respect is already on full display in relation to Chelsea’s decision not to accept Lampard’s request to bring along two of his star players — Mason Mount and Fikayo Tomoroi — who are on loan from the Blues.

While that may sound like potential cause for conflict, the way it has been handled has been excellent and has displayed transparency, understanding and professionalism from both sides. While Chelsea are obviously the clear favourites to win, with moplay.co.uk giving them strong 1/4 odds compared to Derby’s long-shot odds of 53/4, this is an extremely important match.

On top of that, Chelsea are well within their rights to not give permission for players on loan to play against them. Especially when both of those players are handy footballers who played sizeable roles in Derby’s defeat over Manchester United in the previous round of the cup. Mason Mount, in particular, is looking good, having last week been called up to the England senior side after his cool penalty taking at Old Trafford saw his side stride into the Round of 16. Chelsea wouldn’t have so much success if they went into matches underestimating their opponents.

There is some argument for Chelsea allowing these players to come and play for development purposes. They are both young players and Chelsea have a vested interest in them improving their football. Part of that development will have to come through having opportunities to play on a big stage like Stamford Bridge. The pressures that come with professional football are a large part of the learning curve of becoming one of the best and, until you’ve had a lot of experience of it, you never know how good you could be.

However, that argument ultimately falls flat. They both looked great against United and will have their chance to play in more big pressure situations in their time at Derby alone. On top of that, Mason’s opportunity to play for England will development him as a player as well as any other experience could.

The great takeaway from this situation is how both Chelsea and Lampard have handled it. Lampard has said repeatedly that he will respect Chelsea’s decision and Chelsea have made their decision based on their respect for the talents of a duo who are being supremely managed by a man who will always be a legend at Stamford Bridge.

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