Tammy Abraham has proved himself to be a ‘top striker’ this season, says Chelsea boss Frank Lampard.
The 22-year-old became joint-top goalscorer in the Premier League with ten strikes in 2019/20, bagging another during the Blues’ win over Crystal Palace.
After a frustrating first half, Chelsea got the breakthrough on 52 minutes when Abraham latched onto Willian’s clever flick before slotting the ball home.
Christian Pulisic added another with a header to seal the 2-0 victory.
Abraham initially struggled to find joy against the Palace defence and Lampard admitted he urged his striker to liven up at half time.
When asked by talkSPORT’s Nigel Adderley if he spoke to Abraham at the break, Lampard said: “Yeah, I did.
“He was slightly off it in the first half for his usual self but it was a tough game – there wasn’t much room in behind, there wasn’t much room to his feet and I said to him that sometimes the games can just be like that.
“He needed to liven up a bit but if you stick with it then you’ll get your moment and top strikers do. At the moment he’s proved himself to be that this season.
“The question is can he keep doing it? But what I see from his mentality and desire, I believe he can.”
Chelsea are now five points off Premier League leaders Liverpool, although they’ve played a game more than Jurgen Klopp’s men, who face Manchester City on Sunday.
Lampard has received huge credit for galvanising this Chelsea team who were lost at times last season, while also giving a number of their promising youngsters a chance in the first-team.
This was actually the youngest ever Chelsea team in Premier League history with an average age of 24 years and 88 days.
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Another youngster who impressed was Reece James, who won his battle against Eagles talisman Wilfried Zaha, and Lampard admitted the defender’s recent form is giving him selection headaches.
Lampard added: “We deserved to win. I thought we were the better team in the first half, maybe let the tempo drop as the half went on. The message at half time was to lift that tempo and move the ball around quickly like we can and have been recently.
“The moment we did that we created a lot of chances so it’s a tough win but we kept a clean sheet which is something we’re very happy with.
“We could have scored more goals to make it more comfortable but a good win against a difficult team to play against.
“I believe in him [James] and the younger players. He’s training well. We obviously have Azpilicueta at right-back regularly but it was just the time to give Reece some minutes.
“It gives me good options going forward, tough ones in terms of selection but that’s good for the games coming up.
“I thought he did everything against Zaha, who’s a real handful, defended well and joined the attack well. He looked like he had been playing at this level for a long time and he’ll get better.
“You see Billy Gilmour come on at the end. He’s a slightly younger age than the rest of them but he was probably our best player against Manchester United in the Carabao Cup so you never know until you give them a chance.
“It’s been a long time coming here where a batch of players are getting a chance and it’s just something that I and the staff felt when we were coming into the job that they were there and they deserve it.
“At the minute they’re not letting us down but we have to remember that it’s early days, really early days so can we sustain this form and get even better because I think there’s a lot of room for improvement.”
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