In the Chelsea fan-base, there are two names that have stolen the headlines of late.
They are the duo of Tammy Abraham and Mason Mount.
Despite Chelsea having a bad track record of developing youngsters, it does seem the aforementioned pair are on the right path to excel.
The youngsters have had phenomenal starts to the season with a couple of goals to their names as well.
Lampard is well known for his faith in youth, seeing himself become a legend after rising as a youth as well.
Chelsea though, look like they have a different perspective now on youth and it’s all thanks to Frank.
It’s always great to see youngsters progress but Lampard must now be wary of jumping in way ahead of himself regards them.
Only some weeks ago, the Daily Mail reported that Frank Lampard and company were keen to offer 18-year-old Callum Hudson-Odoi a massive contract upgrade. Should he accept (which he obviously will), he will be receiving £180,000 per week which could rise to £200,000 with bonuses.
As I hinted earlier in the article on Callum Hudson-Odoi, this is ridiculous money for a player of his age. In fact, if he signs the deal then he will become the highest-paid teenager in the Premier League and the second-highest in the world only behind Atletico’s Joao Felix who currently earns £255,000 a week.
And now in less than a month, the Blues are also set to reward Tammy Abraham with a contract that will see him double his £50,000 a week earnings.
It seems like good moves to tie the youngsters down, but could very much backfire if the club go about it wrongly.
Even former Chelsea midfielder Craig Burley has hinted it could all be an early over-reaction to Chelsea’s youngsters.
He explained that due to the fact that both Abraham and Mount played against Norwich in the league last season, they should have been expected to win on Saturday.
Mount spent last year on loan at Derby County with Lampard, while Abraham spent the campaign at Aston Villa.
“I think it’s early days, it’s too soon to get over-excited,” Burley said on ESPN FC.
“Mason Mount has done some good things, Tammy Abraham has got himself a couple of goals.
“But let’s take a look at the facts – the two goals against Norwich from Tammy Abraham, that’s where he was playing [last season].”
Does Burley have a point? Yes, he actually does. A good one at that. As he rightly said, Norwich only just got promoted to the Premier League meaning they are opponents Tammy Abraham and Mason Mount are well familiar with from their time in the Championship.
Bearing in mind Tammy Abraham and Mason Mount played against Manchester United and both failed to impress. Abraham especially getting dispossessed of the ball which led to United’s second goal in the 4-0 drubbing.
So technically, the goals should be something to rejoice about but considering the opponents (with all due respect) is not an actual determining factor for a bumper increase in contract wages.
There are many other alternatives Frank Lampard can choose to work with to reward youngsters.
Bearing in mind they are youngsters, the first and most important gift Lampard can give them is his trust and a consistent one. A dressing room meeting with the duo assuring them of regular minutes this season will do well to help that thought.
Afterall the manner in which Tammy Abraham ran to hug his boss after his goal against Norwich shows he clearly wants to repay the faith Lampard has put in him.
As for the contract issues, it would perhaps be wiser to implement bonus agreements that see them earn extra for impressive performances, thereby making them want to outdo each other every week.
It’s understandable that Lampard wants to tie them down to fend off interest from other clubs, but the whole point becomes defeated if they lose their sense of complacency and become lackadaisical in the process.
After a string of “consistent” performances, for instance, both players hitting double-figure goals before Christmas or reaching a target set for them at the end of the season – it would be much more justifiable at that point to reward them handsomely for their efforts.
Mason Mount and Tammy Abraham are in delicious form at the moment but it’s honestly worth noting that it’s still too early to make a conclusion after two good games.
More-so, the pair can still improve as they are both not finished articles yet.
Frank Lampard’s faith in youth is definitely paying off but mismanagement in dealings with their careers could see them take a wrong turn and will eventually be bad news for Chelsea.
Due to the transfer ban, Chelsea are using their best alternatives well enough but must be wary of the repercussions that lie in wait.