Chelsea boss Frank Lampard admits he’s a big fan of Manchester City midfielder Kevin de Bruyne.
Ahead of this weekend’s meeting, Lampard was asked about De Bruyne’s original departure from Chelsea.
He said, “I don’t know the answer to that. That’s a club answer. All I know is that Kevin is a fantastic player. In that situation, we were a bit stacked in that area. Eden was here, Mata was here, Schurrle was here, and to be fair, I remember Kevin had a real desire and hunger to play. I don’t know personally what happened between him, the club and the manager at the time. I could respect the fact that he wanted to show the level of talent that he has got. He has gone from strength to strength. That probably undervalues his incredible rise as a player.
“I love watching him play as a midfielder to find the assists, goals and with his range of passing and weight of passing is, if not the best we’ve seen in the league, it is right near the very top.”
On Chelsea’s young players seeking inspiration from City, Lampard says it’s about the hard work their players have committed themselves to.
“The only inspiration there should be is what it’s taken Manchester City to get where they are,” said Lampard. “Not the moment of lifting the cup it’s about Kevin De Bryune’s journey, Haaland’s journey, Gundogan’s and Stones’ journey. A player has to understand the cup lifting moment comes from what happens down the years.
“Against the odds, whatever it is, how hard they work. That team clearly works hard. When one player stops working hard another one steps in. That’s what the players have to understand. The trophy lift is something to be respectful of. Understanding why they are lifting it is another.”
He added: “They have to take it on board. I have been drumming it in. All down the corridors here at this training ground are all the pictures of people lifting trophies over 20 years and before. They have to understand that the trophy lifting is the culmination of everything you do at the weekend and through the week.
“From how you prepare, how you train, how you turn up. Training at a level to transfer it onto the pitch. Getting that collectively right is why you then get the pictures on those walls. That’s the main thing. The tactics and finer details are not relevant until that first bit is there.”