Frank Lampard has warned it will not be simple for Chelsea to trim their first-team squad this January because of the ongoing impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the transfer market.
There are currently 25 senior players under Lampard’s watch, all of whom – except Billy Gilmour – have earned full caps for their countries.
Several members of the Chelsea squad, including Kepa Arrizabalaga, Fikayo Tomori, Jorginho and Marcos Alonso, have been linked with moves away from Stamford Bridge with the transfer window again open.
And while Lampard accepts players will become frustrated if they are not playing regularly and appreciates some may want to depart this month, he doesn’t believe it will be an easy process to find them new homes.
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He said: “We’ll see what happens with the squad because we’re in a very tough time in terms of Covid and how the transfer market looks.
“So anything that happens, player by player, would have to be right for the club, for the player, dependent on contracts, and then myself. So it’s not simple.
“Generally, you want to have a squad that has a real balance to it, one that enables players to get minutes but also have good competition at the same time.
“I’m not saying this negatively about my players because I have a human side to me that understands why players are unhappy when they are not playing. I see that. But I just can’t make the decision to play everyone and that can be challenging.”
Lampard continued: “All they need to do – and I don’t ask for them to be jumping up and down when they get home about how great I am – is to train well, back your team-mate, have a determined attitude every day. That’s it.
“My point was not that I expect it to be a popularity contest for myself. I never felt that in the…