CHELSEA fans are desperate for Frank Lampard to breathe new life into the club.
Maurizio Sarri’s reign saw Callum Hudson-Odoi and Ruben Loftus-Cheek finally break into the first-team picture.
Here, SunSport reveals their starting XI of Chelsea youth and academy prospects ready to make their mark under Super Frank.
GK – KARLO ZIGER (18)
CROATIAN shot-stopper is tied down to the club until 2021 and is battling to replace Rob Green in Chelsea’s senior squad.
He had a stand-out performance in the UEFA Youth League quarter-final against Dinamo Zagreb.
And Ziger then spent the last part of the season on loan at Sutton United as emergency cover, which could go some way towards his push as Chelsea’s third-choice goalie.
RB – REECE JAMES (19)
JAMES began his Chelsea career at the age of six, captaining the youth side to the FA Youth Cup in 2018 while being named Academy Player of the Season.
He made 46 appearances for Wigan Athletic this term, and was named in the Championship Team of the Season.
Cesar Azpilicueta has struggled at right-back under Sarri, with Davide Zappacosta also failing to impress, and James could be set for a shot in the first team after penning a four-year deal in 2018.
CB – ANDREAS CHRISTENSEN (23)
GREAT Dane ended up forcing his way into Sarri’s plans last term after initially being dropped in favour of Antonio Rudiger and David Luiz.
Looked calm and composed at the back, having been a favourite under Antonio Conte in the 2017/18 campaign.
He is now ready to be installed as Chelsea’s first-choice centre-back, and is a future captain in the making.
CB: FIKAYO TOMORI (21)
TOMORI joined Chelsea’s Under-8s and went on to help the club secure consecutive UEFA Youth Leagues and FA Cup Youth Cups in 2015 and 2016.
The versatile ace made his senior Blues debut during a 1-1 draw against Leicester in the final game of the 2015/16 Premier League campaign.
Tomori played 55 times under Chelsea legend Lampard at Derby County, and also has 15 England U-21 caps to his name.
LB: JUAN CASTILLO (19)
DUTCHMAN is out of contract this summer but is set to pen a new deal following Lampard’s return to Stamford Bridge.
The flying wing-back has been one of Chelsea’s most consistent youngsters and will be looking to take advantage of any slip-ups by Marcos Alonso.
The sale of Jay Dasilva to Bristol City has also given Castillo hope for a chance at the starting XI in the near future.
Will Lampard go with the old boys instead?
GK: Kepa Arrizabalaga – 24
RB: Cesar Azpilicueta – 29
CB: Antonio Rudiger – 26
CB: David Luiz – 32
LB: Marcos Alonso – 28
DM: Jorginho – 27
CM: N’Golo Kante – 28
CM: Mateo Kovacic – 25
RW: Pedro – 31
ST: Olivier Giroud – 32
LW: Willian – 30
DM: ETHAN AMPADU (18)
VERSATILE Welsh ace picked up some invaluable experience as part of Sarri’s senior squad last season.
However, he made very few appearances and may have benefitted from being sent out on loan.
But Ampadu is rated as one of the best youngsters to come out of Chelsea, and his ability to play in defence as well as midfield is sure to earn him a spot in Lampard’s group.
CM: RUBEN LOFTUS-CHEEK (23)
NO longer a bit-part player, Loftus-Cheek has become one of the first names on the team sheet when fit.
Combining pace, power and technique, the England international has the potential to be one of the best in the business.
Lampard will relish coaching Loftus-Cheek, and is sure to have a few secrets he can teach about scoring even more goals.
CM: MASON MOUNT (20) – Derby
MOUNT has emerged as a Chelsea fan favourite despite never making a senior appearance.
He has won two FA Youth Cups, the UEFA Youth League and the Under-19 Euros, claiming the tournament’s Golden Player award.
A successful stint in the Dutch top flight saw Mount crowned Vitesse’s Player of the Year last season, and he impressed in 44 appearances under idol Lampard at Derby.
RW: CHRISTIAN PULISIC (20)
INBOUND Borussia Dortmund winger has already made plenty of waves despite his tender age.
Already regarded as the best American player of all time, Pulisic’s determination and humble personality is sure to make him a straight-fire hit with the Stamford Bridge faithful.
Will have to be given some time to settle in West London, and anyone who instantly tries to compare him with now-Real Madrid star Eden Hazard isn’t worth paying attention to.
ST: TAMMY ABRAHAM (21)
ABRAHAM already has three senior Chelsea appearances to his name having joined the club in 2004.
He won the 2018 Toulon Tournament in 2018 with England and scored 26 goals in 40 games for Aston Villa this season.
Abraham has also spent time on loan at Swansea, but his season with Bristol City which resulted in 26 goals from 48 appearances saw him named their Player of the Season in 2017.
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LW: CALLUM HUDSON-ODOI (18)
LOOKED set to leave for Bayern Munich in January after handing in a transfer request.
But Sarri eventually found room for him in the starting XI and only a brutal injury halted Hudson-Odoi’s late rise in the season.
Will now pen a new contract before inheriting Hazard’s No 10 shirt, and is already a big hit with supporters.