London (AFP) – Chelsea manager Frank Lampard has warned Tammy Abraham not to let protracted contract talks affect his performances.
Abraham has scored 15 goals during a breakthrough season with Chelsea, but the England striker has failed to find the back of the net since January 11.
The 22-year-old reportedly came close to agreeing an improved contract earlier in the season during his hot streak.
But his only start since the coronavirus hiatus was in the defeat at West Ham last week as the more experienced Olivier Giroud earned Lampard’s faith.
Abraham’s fellow youngsters Callum Hudson-Odoi, Reece James, Mason Mount and Fikayo Tomori have all signed new Chelsea contracts over the past year.
Yet to follow suit, Abraham has just under two years remaining on his deal at Stamford Bridge.
Yet Lampard expects him to stay focused as fourth placed Chelsea chase a qualification for the Champions League.
“I think Tammy’s contract, we are not at a critical level with it,” Lampard said ahead of Tuesday’s trip to Crystal Palace.
“I will leave it with him and the club to discuss that side of it. I don’t think it is something that is clearly in his mind now, at least it shouldn’t be.
“What needs to be in his mind now is these games we have coming up and how much he can give us on the pitch, whether coming on as a sub or starting the game.”
Lampard has told Abraham the only way to force his way back into the side is to working harder than ever in training.
“He has had a really good season, he hasn’t scored as much in the second half of the season,” he said.
“But as a young player it is always clear when you have these periods there is only one way out of it and that is work and repetition in training.
“I think that is where Tammy is at. I think the contract will hopefully look after itself between him and the club and he just needs to focus on giving us that Tammy that we had earlier in the season.
“He was giving defenders so much of a problem in games and scoring regularly and it all came from how he was training and working in the week.
“That is just what he has to sustain all the time.”
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