Chelsea plotting another raid on the Bundesliga ‘as Frank Lampard lines up deal for Borussia Monchengladbach defender Matthias Ginter’ following summer arrivals of Timo Werner and Kai Havertz
The 26-year-old German has been likened to Sergio Ramos by Lothar Matthaus
The centre-back could leave the Bundesliga club for just £30million in January
Germany legend Matthaus said ‘Ginter has become a leader at the back’
Frank Lampard wants a defender as Antonio Rudiger could leave in January
Chelsea are reportedly interested in Borussia Monchengladbach defender Matthias Ginter, the 26-year-old has been hailed as the next Sergio Ramos.
The Blues have already raided the Bundesliga for Timo Werner and Kai Havertz this past summer.
However, according to Kicker, Chelsea are preparing to bid for the Germany international.
Matthias Ginter could be the latest German star to swap the Bundesliga for Stamford Bridge
The centre back has been likened to Real Madrid captain Ramos by the man who skippered Germany to the World Cup in 1990, Lothar Matthaus.
Matthaus told Sky Sports Germany: ‘Ginter has become a leader at the back, in a similar way to Ramos at Real.
‘He doesn’t just give instructions to his team-mates, but leads them as well. That’s what Ginter is doing really well at the moment. He reminds me of Ramos.’
Lothar Matthaus (right) has likened Ginter to Real Madrid’s legendary defender Sergio Ramos
Ginter could leave Monchengladbach for £30million in January, and could become the latest player in through the doors at Stamford Bridge after a summer spending spree in excess of £200m.
Frank Lampard has already strengthened his back line by signing veteran Brazilian defender Thiago Silva, however he wants another option at centre-half as Antonio Rudiger could return to Germany after a loan moved to Tottenham fell through in the summer.
Matthaus added: ‘He’s full of confidence nowadays, and has become a big personality.
‘In the past, he wasn’t as vocal and tended to follow the pack. Now he’s taking on responsibility and making important decisions – defensively and in attack.’
Ginter’s international team-mates Timo Werner and Kai Havertz joined Chelsea this summer
Ginter joined Gladbach from Bayern Munich for £15.5million in 2017, after he struggled to hold down a regular starting spot at the Allianz Arena.
He began his senior career with SC Freiberg in 2012, before joining Bayern two years later.
The German international helped Monchengladbach finish fourth in last season’s Bundesliga, securing Champions League football for Marco Rose’s side.
Chelsea manager Frank Lampard will speak with his players before deciding whether Jorginho remains the club’s penalty taker after the Italian missed his second spot kick of the season in their 4-0 win over Russian side Krasnodar in the Champions League.
Jorginho, who missed from the spot against Liverpool in the Premier League last month, hit the post with a penalty in the first half with the game goalless in Krasnodar on Wednesday.
“Jorginho has had an incredibly successful rate of scoring penalties in his career, particularly at Chelsea,” Lampard said.
“My feeling is when you take as many penalties as he does, there can be periods when you miss one, and sometimes there can be periods where you miss one or two. I experienced that as a player.”
Jorginho was substituted by the time Chelsea were awarded another penalty, which Timo Werner dispatched in the 76th minute.
“Timo Werner, I know he’s very capable to take penalties,” Lampard added. “We have other players that can as well, so I’ll talk with the players afterwards to see how we move forward.”
Callum Hudson-Odoi, Hakim Ziyech and Christian Pulisic also got on the scoresheet as Chelsea sealed their first Champions League victory of the season in front of owner Roman Abramovich.
Abramovich has been unable to attend matches at Stamford Bridge because of UK visa issues.
“I always feel the support of the owner of the club, whether he’s here at games or not,” Lampard said. “A couple of my staff members spoke to him, but by the time I came out in the warm-up he wasn’t around.”
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‘I will talk to the players to see how me move forward’: Frank Lampard could make Timo Werner his new penalty taker after the German rifled in his spot-kick in victory over Krasnodar following Jorginho’s second miss in four games
Jorginho hit the post with his penalty kick in the first-half on Wednesday night
Midfielder had been substituted by the time Werner dispatched his spot kick
Lampard will speak to the players before deciding who will now take penalties
Krasnodar 0-4 Chelsea: Lampard’s men romp to first Champions League win
Frank Lampard will speak to Jorginho and Timo Werner before deciding who will now take Chelsea’s penalties.
Jorginho has missed two of his last four spot-kicks after hitting the post with the game goalless during Wednesday night’s 4-0 win in Krasnodar.
The Italian had been substituted by the time Chelsea were awarded a second penalty and Werner dispatched with a thumping effort on 76 minutes.
Frank Lampard will speak to Jorginho and Timo Werner over who will take penalties
Lampard insists he has no issue with Jorginho’s hop-skip technique, but he could not confirm if the midfielder will continue on penalty duty.
‘Jorginho has had an incredibly successful run of scoring penalties in his career, especially at Chelsea,’ said the Blues boss.
‘If you take that many penalties, as he does, there can be periods when you miss one or two, I’ve experienced that as a player. I’ve got no problem at all with his style of taking them because of the success he’s had.
Jorginho had been substituted before Werner dispatched his spot kick with a thumping effort
‘But I know Timo Werner is very capable of taking penalties, as we saw. We have other players that can too. So I will talk to the players to see how me move forward, but we have very good penalty takers at the club.’
The victory in Russia also included a first start and first goal for summer arrival Hakim Ziyech, and Lampard said: ‘His performance was very, very good, when you consider he hasn’t started a match since March. So I was very exited to get him on the pitch.
‘It’s been frustrating, his injury. But, from what I’d seen in training, I knew we’d signed a player of immense quality and personality to receive the ball, to find assists and goals. He will get better. Maybe people have forgotten about him a bit, but he showed tonight that he’s here.’
Meanwhile, Lampard said he had not spoken to owner Roman Abramovich, attending his first Chelsea match in 18 months. But he added: ‘I am very pleased we put on a good performance, four goals and a clean sheet in his home country, so I hope it made him happy.’
The Chelsea boss insists he has no issue with Jorginho’s hop-skip technique despite misses
Frank Lampard was thumped at Old Trafford in his first game as a Premier League boss after having his hands tied in the transfer market… now, after splashing £253m to make Chelsea’s squad his own, he can’t afford another slip against his frugal rivals
Manchester United host Chelsea in the Premier League on Satuday night
Frank Lampard’s first match as Chelsea boss was a 4-0 defeat at Old Trafford
Chelsea went on a £231m spending spree after transfer ban was lifted
Lampard is under pressure to show that Chelsea are progressing
Frank Lampard returns to the venue of his first match as Chelsea manager on Saturday hoping for a very different result to the 4-0 defeat he suffered against Manchester United at Old Trafford on August 11, 2019.
An awful lot has changed in the 14 months since then, with the coronavirus pandemic meaning there will be 73,620 fewer fans in the ground, but the problems facing Lampard at full-time remain largely the same.
Despite what the scoreline suggests, Chelsea controlled the game, particularly in the first half. They had 54 per cent possession, 18 shots to United’s 11 and seven on target to their five. While it would be a stretch to say they dominated, Lampard was left feeling they could have earned at least a draw on another day. Instead, they were punished for defensive lapses by a Marcus Rashford brace, with Anthony Martial and Dan James also getting on the scoresheet.
Frank Lampard is embraced by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer ahead of his first match as Chelsea boss
Lampard’s Chelsea players look dejected as they slip to a 4-0 defeat in August 2019
Marcus Rashford buries a first-half penalty to give United the lead against Chelsea
Anthony Martial beats Kepa Arrizabalaga to put United 2-0 up at the start of last season
MANCHESTER UNITED (4-2-3-1): De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw; McTominay, Pogba; Lingard (Mata 86), Pereira (James 74), Rashford (Greenwood 86); Martial.
Goals: Rashford 18 (pen) & 67, Martial 65, James 81.
CHELSEA (4-2-3-1): Kepa; Azpilicueta, Christensen, Zouma, Emerson; Jorginho (Kante 73), Kovacic; Pedro, Mount, Barkley (Pulisic 58); Abraham (Giroud 66).
Last season was in essence a free hit for Lampard, with Chelsea’s year-long transfer ban meaning that expectations were as low as they had ever been in the Roman Abramovich era. To finish fourth then, claiming a Champions League spot ahead of London rivals Tottenham and Arsenal, was a decent return for the rookie Blues boss. Their defensive record, however, was only the 11th-best in the league, with 50 more goals conceded after their opening-day 4-0 defeat by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s United.
To have conceded nine goals in five games already this season then, six of those coming in 3-3 draws with Southampton and West Brom, is a worrying sign that little has changed under Lampard.
What has changed, however, are those expectations. If last season was a free-hit given the transfer ban, as Lampard blooded youngsters Mason Mount, Tammy Abraham, Reece James and Fikayo Tomori, this season must see improvement with Chelsea’s £231million summer spending spree the highest ever by any Premier League club in a single window.
It is safe to assume Abramovich won’t be quite so pleased with fourth place and 54 goals conceded this season, and certainly not with a heavy defeat at Old Trafford.
Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea celebrates during their 4-0 win over Chelsea
Saturday night’s match then, as early in the season as it is, holds symbolic significance for Lampard, to show that Chelsea are moving in the right direction, not just with regards to their defending, but to their finishing too.
Timo Werner, Kai Havertz and Hakim Ziyech were the marquee signings this summer, brought in to sharpen up the attack and work with those youngsters. Chelsea are delivering on that front, with 13 goals scored already, Werner and Havertz improving each game and Ziyech returning to fitness to offer a different dimension cutting in from the right.
There are signs of improvement in the defence too, despite throwing away two points against Southampton last time out. Blues optimists will point to the fact that Kepa Arrizabalaga, the error-prone goalkeeper who has been dropped by Lampard, was been in between the sticks for that game and was at his shaky worst. Promisingly, their new No 1 Edouard Mendy returned from injury for Tuesday night’s draw with Sevilla in the Champions League and delivered his second clean sheet in three matches in all competitions. The only goal he has conceded was against Tottenham in the Carabao Cup. He appears to be striking up a decent understanding with fellow French speakers Thiago Silva and Kurt Zouma in front of him.
Edouard Mendy has made an impressive start to life in goal for Chelsea
That trio will be tested by Rashford, Martial and Co on Saturday, but United fans were hoping to have at least one more attacking star to add to their ranks in the summer, with a bid to sign Jadon Sancho from Dortmund failing in a very public way. Solskjaer instead had to make do with Silva’s former PSG team-mate, veteran striker Edinson Cavani, as his main late-window signing. He may still not be ready for first-team action having not made the squad for United’s impressive win in Paris this week.
Even given that result, however, there has been a dynamic-shift between the two clubs and managers since that meeting in August 2019. This time, Lampard arrives with all the expectation on him, with Solskjaer earning sympathy for the cards he has been dealt. With the top four race wide open, it is time for Frank to prove Chelsea are making progress.
Lampard walks off the Old Trafford pitch following last season’s defeat at Old Trafford
‘I want them to grow as leaders’: Frank Lampard urges Chelsea stars to show off their personality and swagger ahead of trip to face ‘quality’ Manchester United at Old Trafford
Frank Lampard is encouraging personality inside the Chelsea dressing room
An influx of new signings has seen the squad continue to form partnerships
But ahead of facing Manchester United, Lampard called on ‘leaders’ to step up
Frank Lampard has challenged Chelsea’s dressing room to ‘grow as leaders’ ahead of a weekend trip to Manchester United.
Lampard has recruited a number of young players over the summer and while 36-year-old defender Thiago Silva is a ready-made leader for the Blues, the Chelsea boss is hopeful more of the squad can show their growing confidence and step up.
‘I want them to grow as leaders in the group,’ Lampard said.
Chelsea’s players have been encouraged to ‘show their personality’ by boss Frank Lampard
The Chelsea manager is determined to see players in the group grow into squad leaders
‘There are tough times and you want them to push each other. You need to have character. Hakim (Ziyech) has a confidence about him.
‘I encourage personality within the group.’
Chelsea head north to Old Trafford sat eighth in the table following two wins, two draws and a defeat, at the hands of champions Liverpool, in the opening five games. United, meanwhile, are slumped down in 15th with just six points.
Summer arrival Hakim Ziyech has ‘a confidence about him’ and was picked out by Lampard
But for Lampard, he is refusing to take United lightly in what he reminded his players is a ‘big game’.
‘It certainly does feel like a big game,’ Lampard said.
‘They are a quality team, they went to Paris and got a fantastic result.
‘It’s an opportunity to get some hard-earned points. It’s too early to assume anything. It’s early.
‘The games of teams around you will always be big. There are games where you have to grind out.’
Chelsea travel to face a Manchester United side buoyed by victory over Paris Saint-Germain
Frank Lampard had major doubts over Christian Pulisic’s ability to make an immediate impact at Chelsea, according to RB Salzburg manager Jesse Marsch.
Pulisic was signed during Maurizio Sarri’s reign in a £58 million deal from Borussia Dortmund but the winger did not make the move to Stamford Bridge until the following summer when Lampard had taken charge.
Pulisic was eased in during his first few months in the Premier League, with Lampard dropping the United States international from his matchday squad on several occasions.
But the 22-year-old soon became a key part of Chelsea’s attack and has now established himself as one of the focal points in Lampard’s side.
However, Marsch has accused Lampard of being sceptical over Pulisic’s ability because of the winger’s nationality.
‘The perception in Europe, mostly, is that the American player is willing to run, willing to fight, has good mentality, but technically they’re not very gifted and tactically they’re not very aware and their experiences aren’t very big,’ Marsch told Extratime Radio.
‘But we’re seeing that change. We’re seeing more and more of these players develop themselves.
‘Even Frank Lampard, when I spoke to him in pre-season a year ago now, I was talking to him about having Christian Pulisic and he was kind of like, ‘Yeah, he’s got a lot to learn so we’ll see how he does’. I said to him, ‘Listen, he was at Dortmund, and they had a high level of tactical thinking, of playing, and he was very successful’.
‘He was considered one of the best young players in Germany and that’s in a group of players with Timo Werner, Kai Havertz, Joshua Kimmich, these kinds of players.
‘He was in a group with those players, and it’s not just because he was talented but it was because he understood the tactics and understood how to fit in the game and he was developing a real astute way of how to play.
‘I could see right away that Frank Lampard’s idea of Christian Pulisic was shaped a lot by the fact that he was American and not that his football education came a lot from what has happened in Germany.
‘Since then, I think Lampard has learned that Pulisic is a lot better than he gave him credit for.
‘Christian had to fight for that, which is the American quality, but he’s a damn good player. Same with Gio Reyna, same with Tyler Adams, same with Weston McKennie.
‘All of these players are now starting to show, born and raised in America, that they’re not only big talents, but they’re also more refined players that many think. Brenden Aaronson will show that when he’s here and I think more examples will change the perception of what the American player is.’
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Frank Lampard believes the loss of a player of Virgil van Dijk’s quality is likely to hit any team hard – but the Chelsea manager says it ‘remains to be seen’ just how much of an impact the injury will have on Liverpool’s season and the title race.
Van Dijk, 29, hobbled off the pitch after a horror challenge from Jordan Pickford in Saturday’s Merseyside derby at Goodison Park and subsequent scans showed the Netherlands international had torn his ACL and will be out for several months.
The news sent shockwaves across the Premier League, with Liverpool’s title defence now resting on the shoulders of Joel Matip, Joe Gomez and makeshift centre-half Fabinho.
Van Dijk was on the winning team and came away with a clean sheet as Liverpool won 2-0 at Stamford Bridge last month and Lampard is well aware of the Dutchman’s importance to the Merseyside giants.
Speaking ahead of Chelsea’s Champions League opener with Sevilla, he hailed Van Dijk as one of the ‘outstanding’ centre-backs on the planet before passing on his best wishes to the crocked Liverpool defender.
Asked about the significance of the injury at his press conference on Monday, the Chelsea boss said: ‘I think Virgil van Dijk is clearly an outstanding player.
‘He’s one of the outstanding defenders in world football and has been for the last two or three seasons.
‘The loss of a player of that quality and that size is going to affect any team because individuals and the quality of individual players like that make huge differences.
‘But we’re talking about Liverpool, we’re talking about a squad that’s been built, that are so strong, with a great manager so – of course nobody wants to lose a player like that and obviously I wish him my best when I see that sort of injury – but it remains to be seen how much it affects Liverpool.’
Van Dijk vowed to return stronger than ever in a defiant message on Instagram on Sunday evening.
‘This afternoon I met with a leading consultant to start the process of planning the finer details of my rehabilitation following the incident yesterday,’ he said.
‘I’m not fully focused on my recovery and will do everything I can to be back as quickly as possible.
‘Despite the obvious disappointment, I am a full believer that within difficulty lies opportunity and with God’s help I am going to make sure I return better, fitter and stronger than ever before.
‘In football as in life, I believe everything happens for a reason and it’s important to keep level-headed, whether going through the highs or the lows.
‘With the support of my wife, kids, family and everyone at Liverpool I am ready for the challenge ahead.
‘I would like to think everyone for the messages of support, it’s meant a huge amount to me and my family and I’ll now be doing everything possible to support my team-mates in anyway I can ahead of a big few weeks ahead as I take my own recovery day-by-day. I’ll be back’.
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Frank Lampard insists he will continue to support Kepa Arrizabalaga after the goalkeeper’s latest mistake in Chelsea’s 3-3 draw with Southampton, while he expects Edouard Mendy will return within two weeks.
The West London club went two goals ahead at Stamford Bridge on Saturday thanks to a Timo Werner brace but were pegged back twice in the game, with Jannik Vestergaard striking in stoppage time to secure a draw for Southampton.
Kepa made several good stops as Saints dominated the second half, but was at fault for the away side’s second goal; Kurt Zouma under-hit his pass back to the keeper, who made a meal of his attempted tackle and allowed Che Adams to rifle home.
Lampard was disappointed for Kepa that the mistake overshadowed an otherwise decent display – also noting that he was not the only player at fault – and still hopes he can get through this difficult period of form.
Asked if Kepa is mentally strong enough to deal with yet another error, Lampard said: ‘He has to be strong enough, that’s part of the job we’re in when you’re playing top-level, elite sport.
‘All eyes are on, how competitive it is we know that, and the goalkeeper and their role means they have to really deal with that and these sort of moments. And that continues with Kepa.
‘He has to deal with that, he will feel the support of myself and he will feel the support of his teammates. And it’s unfortunate, because he did make a couple of good saves today.
‘Of course, when you’re a goalkeeper, typically people will judge you on other moments sometimes as well. But he has to keep working, there’s only one way through those kind of periods and that’s work and to feel the support around him.’
Asked a follow up question about Kepa’s future when Mendy returns from injury, Lampard continued: ‘Well I was just talking about Kepa there. He made two really good saves in the match today, but of course people’s eyes will be drawn to the second goal and I understand that.
‘But it wasn’t just Kepa who was involved in that goal. So that’s the unfortunate world of being a goalkeeper.
‘And it’s clear that Mendy at the moment is injured and will probably be fit in the next week or two weeks, and then that will be the decision for me to make about who plays.’
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Frank Lampard confirms Edouard Mendy is OUT of Southampton clash due to a thigh injury… but Chelsea boss remains tight-lipped on whether Kepa Arrizabalaga or Willy Caballero will start in goal this weekend
Frank Lampard has confirmed that Edouard Mendy is out with a thigh injury
The Senegalese goalkeeper will play no part against Southampton on Saturday
Lampard refused to say whether Arrizabalaga or Caballero would start instead
Frank Lampard has confirmed that Edouard Mendy will play no part in Chelsea’s Premier League clash with Southampton this weekend.
The Blues’ summer-signing picked up a thigh injury while away on international duty with Senegal, which leaves Lampard with either Kepa Arrizabalaga or Willy Caballero in goal.
Mendy is likely to face a two-week spell on the sidelines but it remains to be seen who will take his place at Stamford Bridge.
Frank Lampard has confirmed that Edouard Mendy will play no part against Southampton
Blues’ summer-signing picked up a thigh injury while away on international duty with Senegal
‘Mendy won’t be fit for the match tomorrow, we hope it won’t be too long,’ Lampard confirmed.
When asked who will be feature in his place, Lampard refused to pick between his two keepers, saying: ‘I’ll make that decision myself for tomorrow.’
The injury blow comes after Mendy made a promising start to his Chelsea career, keeping their first clean sheet of the season in victory over Crystal Palace on his debut.
There are hopes the 28-year-old will be fit enough to return for the club’s Champions League opener against Sevilla on Tuesday.
Kepa Arrizabalaga (left) and Willy Caballero (right) are both in line to feature on Saturday
Kepa, who was dropped for last month’s 3-3 draw against West Brom after a series of high-profile errors, kept a clean sheet in Spain’s goalless draw with Portugal last week.
And he has backed himself to reclaim the No 1 shirt at Stamford Bridge, saying: ‘I feel fine, strong, with confidence.
‘The situation is not ideal, I wasn’t expecting it, but we are footballers and have to live through situations like this. I am confident I can turn the situation around.’
There are also injury worries for Thiago Silva and N’Golo Kante.
Hakim Ziyech (R) is in line to make his first appearance for Chelsea but isn’t fit enough to start
However, Hakim Ziyech is in line to make his first appearance for the club following his move from Ajax this summer – but may not be fit enough to start.
‘Thiago Silva after his trip is not ready to play because of the travelling,’ Lampard added. ‘Chilwell is in the squad. He has got over some of the feeling he had in the squad.
‘Pulisic and Ziyech are in the squad. Ziyech not it to start, but hopefully to get some minutes.’
Hakim Ziyech is READY! Frank Lampard could unleash Chelsea’s £37m summer signing against Southampton after starring role in Morocco win on return from injury
Hakim Ziyech helped Morocco beat Senegal 3-1 in an international friendly
The winger came on after 59 minutes and shone, assisting Morocco’s third
Ziyech signed for Chelsea this summer but suffered a knee injury in pre-season
He could be set for his Premier League debut on Saturday against Southampton
Chelsea’s stuttering new-look attack could be in for another injection of star power on Saturday, with Hakim Ziyech ready to feature.
The winger landed in West London for £37m this summer and hit the ground running by setting up a Timo Werner strike in a pre-season meet with Brighton, but a knee injury picked-up later in the game has barred him from Premier League action since.
Having missed the Blues’ first four games in the top-flight, Ziyech returned to action on Friday in a Morocco shirt and looked like he’d never been away.
Hakim Ziyech could be ready for Chelsea action after starring for Morocco on Friday
The Blues’ £37m summer signing assisted a goal for Morocco in their 3-1 win over Senegal
Frank Lampard could now has his full-strength front-line available to him in the Premier League
Facing Senegal in a friendly, the former Ajax star was introduced in the 59th minute with Morocco winning 1-0.
Ziyech was instrumental in Youssef En-Nesyri’s strike 12 minutes later, then curling in a pin-point free-kick for Youssef El Arabi to head in for 3-0.
Watford star Ismaila Sarr bagged a consolation for Senegal in the 88th minute from the spot but Ziyech was in no danger of losing his comeback victory.
Frank Lampard will be keen to get Ziyech involved after a sluggish start in attack after Chelsea’s summer of spending.
Ziyech was injured in a pre-season friendly against Brighton and hasn’t featured since
The forward’s fellow new signings Timo Werner and Kai Havertz have not got going yet
Ziyech has been in training settling in at Cobham but Blues fans can’t wait to see him play
The Blues beat Crystal Palace 4-0 last time out but every goal was scored from midfield or defence, as £123m pair Kai Havertz and Timo Werner continued their wait for a first Premier League goal.
A front three of Ziyech, Werner and Christian Pulisic, with Havertz joining the attack from midfield, is what Blues fans have been waiting to see all summer, and the Moroccan could be the key to unlock his new team-mates.
A strong Southampton team awaits, having recovered from back-to-back defeats to Palace and Spurs at the start of 2020-21 to secure two straight victories with clean-sheets.