Lampard reveals Chelsea player he didn’t want to sell
Former Chelsea manager Frank Lampard expressed his surprise and disappointment at the Premier League club’s decision to part ways with several of their academy graduates. Lampard, who had a successful tenure at Stamford Bridge from 2019 to 2021 before being replaced by Thomas Tuchel, revealed that he had wanted to retain Fikayo Tomori during his first stint as manager.
Lampard, now 45 years old, returned as a caretaker manager for Chelsea at the end of the previous season. During a segment on Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football, he was shown a graphic displaying the young talents who had played under his management and subsequently left the club. In response, Lampard shared his thoughts, saying, “I think if you look across that list, I’m somewhat taken aback by it.”
He went on to explain that, at the time, he had expected more of these players to remain with the club for a more extended period. Lampard acknowledged that each player’s situation was unique, with various factors at play. Specifically, he mentioned his desire to retain Fikayo Tomori but noted the challenges of managing a squad with multiple center-back options. Tomori’s intermittent appearances in the starting lineup led to his frustration and eventual decision to seek opportunities elsewhere, which is a common occurrence with young players.
Lampard also hinted at the complexities of modern football management, where club ownership and sporting directors may not always share the same perspective on the potential of academy players as coaches and fans do. This disconnect can sometimes lead to unexpected departures and decisions regarding talented young players.