Rudi­ger and Hudson-Odoi could leave as Lam­pard eyes fi­nal squad

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Sport Football - By Matt Law

Frank Lam­pard has not ruled out ei­ther An­to­nio Rudi­ger or Cal­lum Hudson-Odoi leav­ing Chelsea be­fore the trans­fer win­dow shuts.

The Chelsea head coach con­firmed that Hudson-Odoi would play in tonight’s Carabao Cup tie against Barns­ley but, with Thi­ago Silva in line to make his de­but, along with left-back Ben Chilwell, and dur­ing which time he was told he would not play foot­ball again. He still finds the mem­ory painful, but cred­its his suc­cess­ful ca­reer and de­ter­mi­na­tion to play for so long to over­com­ing that gloomy pre­dic­tion.

“That was one of the worst ex­pe­ri­ences in my life,” said Silva. “You have a dream as a child to be play­ing as a pro­fes­sional foot­baller and when I got TB it seemed that the dream would be over.

“Thank God that I had the strength to over­come it and get well. It is dif­fi­cult to talk about it be­cause it brings back these mem­o­ries. I re­mem­ber my last day in the hos­pi­tal. The doc­tor told me that I had not been cured and that I needed an op­er­a­tion on my lung, and that my foot­ball ca­reer would be over.

“But thank God, and thanks to the spe­cial­ist, lit­tle by lit­tle, I got bet­ter. Then, lit­tle by lit­tle, with ded­i­ca­tion, I man­aged to play foot­ball. It is dif­fi­cult.

“Def­i­nitely, it is some­thing not many peo­ple have gone through in their lives and a lot of peo­ple have not re­cov­ered from a sim­i­lar ill­ness.

So, I think about it a lot at these mo­ments – what I have been through. Thank­fully I had the strength to over­come it.

“I feel very grate­ful to my fam­ily and my wife – at the time she was my girl­friend, just 17 – who was

Fikayo To­mori push­ing for a start, cen­tre-half Rudi­ger faces miss­ing out for a third game in suc­ces­sion.

Asked di­rectly whether ei­ther Rudi­ger or Hudson-Odoi could leave, Lam­pard said: “I’m go­ing to skirt around that ques­tion. It re­mains to be seen. We’re not in a pe­riod where the trans­fer win­dow or mar­ket is act­ing like it has done in re­cent years in terms of how play­ers move or what level they move at.

“The com­pet­i­tive games have just started. My pri­or­ity will al­ways be mak­ing sure I main­tain and keep the strong­est squad I can for this club. But af­ter that, of course, the in­di­vid­ual con­ver­sa­tions will hap­pen.

“I will try to make sure I go into the sea­son, once the win­dow shuts, with the squad that I feel is com­pet­i­tive in a healthy way.”

What­ever Lam­pard and Chelsea de­cide about Rudi­ger’s fu­ture could have an im­pact on what hap­pens with To­mori, with Ever­ton hop­ing to land him on a sea­son-long loan.

With Edouard Mendy join­ing from Rennes af­ter a med­i­cal yes­ter­day, Lam­pard now has three goal­keep­ers, three left-backs, five cen­tre-backs, three strik­ers and a host of mid­field­ers in his squad.

On the sub­ject of de­cid­ing who can leave, Lam­pard said: “There are de­ci­sions for me to take, for the club to make and for the play­ers them­selves to make. That’s the sit­u­a­tion now.”

In­juries to Christian Pulisic and Hakim Ziyech mean Lam­pard wants to see winger Hudson-Odoi stake his claim against Cham­pi­onship club Barns­ley.

“We know in a Premier League squad and the num­ber of games we’re go­ing to play, we need com­pe­ti­tion in those ar­eas, back­ups in very sup­port­ive and gave me the strength to get over it so that I was able then to chase my dreams. Now I can say to­day that I am a cham­pion, not just in foot­ball, but also in life.” Silva is tak­ing lessons to learn English and does not see the lan­guage bar­rier as an ob­sta­cle to him of­fer­ing the lead­er­ship that Chelsea’s de­fence has so badly needed.

“In re­la­tion to not speak­ing English, it’s go­ing to be dif­fi­cult, it al­ways is with a new lan­guage, but you are speak­ing to some­one who speaks Ital­ian, French, Span­ish and Por­tuguese,” said Silva. “The ten­dency when you learn some lan­guages, oth­ers come eas­ier. “I am go­ing to learn English as quickly as pos­si­ble. It’s quite un­com­fort­able for me, be­ing here, giv­ing this in­ter­view with some­one else in­ter­pret­ing for me, so I would like to give in­ter­views in English soon.

“With re­gard to lead­er­ship, any­one who has played foot­ball knows a lit­tle about com­mu­ni­ca­tion, knows it’s a mix, it’s a sim­i­lar lan­guage so I’m look­ing at the ba­sic terms and words – track­ing back, chang­ing sides – you pri­ori­tise the im­por­tant words and fo­cus. “The other play­ers speak a lot of other lan­guages as well and the play­ers that we have are of an in­cred­i­bly high, tech­ni­cal qual­ity and can dif­fer­en­ti­ate in­tel­li­gence, which is es­sen­tial in foot­ball.” Hav­ing won a Serie A ti­tle at AC Mi­lan and seven Ligue 1 ti­tles at PSG, Silva made his Stam­ford Bridge am­bi­tion clear by say­ing: “Lit­tle by lit­tle, we will do great things for Chelsea.” those ar­eas and play­ers com­pet­ing to make that po­si­tion their own,” Lam­pard said.

“That’s where Cal­lum is at and that’s why I keep say­ing he needs to train, he needs to show in train­ing ev­ery day. And when he gets his op­por­tu­nity in games, which he will have against Barns­ley, he has to show in ev­ery minute, on and off the ball, what he can do for the team.

“He’s had an early break­through in his ca­reer be­cause of his tal­ent, he’s had an in­jury and now I want to see him flour­ish again.”

New be­gin­nings: Thi­ago Silva is look­ing for­ward to shar­ing the skills he honed dur­ing eight suc­cess­ful years at Paris St-Ger­main

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.