London (AFP) – Frank Lampard says Chelsea can cope without leading scorer Tammy Abraham after the England striker suffered an ankle injury scare in Tuesday’s 2-2 draw with 10-man Arsenal.
Abraham hobbled off the Stamford Bridge turf at full-time as Chelsea failed to capitalise on old boy David Luiz’s red card, thwarted by Hector Bellerin’s late equaliser.
Cesar Azpilicueta thought he had scrambled Chelsea to victory with a neat finish only to see Bellerin steal a share of the spoils, after Gabriel Martinelli’s breakaway goal had cancelled out Jorginho’s penalty.
Abraham has 13 Premier League goals for Chelsea in his breakthrough top-flight campaign with the Blues but boss Lampard was adamant his side could cope even if the England star faces a spell on the sidelines.
Lampard said after the match that Abraham had had ice on his ankle but he was unaware of the severity of the injury.
When asked if Chelsea could cope without Abraham, Lampard said: “Yes, yes, and we have the players there to do that.
“I hope he’s not (out for several weeks) but then if he is, then yes we do have the players.”
Chelsea boss Lampard refused to dampen down links with Paris Saint-Germain striker Edinson Cavani on Monday, and injury to Abraham could increase the Blues’ need to recruit a striker in the January transfer window.
Olivier Giroud reportedly wants to join Inter Milan to link back up with ex-Blues boss Antonio Conte, while Chelsea also have Michy Batshuayi as their other frontline striker.
Lampard reiterated that the club are more likely to look at loan deals than permanent transfers this month, as he plots his long-term strategy.
“I know and I feel where we need strengthening,” he said. “It’s not going to be just January, this is more of a short-term window for us.
“This season has given us some answers on the pitch in where we need to improve. But that’s not so much for this window.”
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