Chelsea will look to replace Eden Hazard goals – Frank Lampard

Frank Lampard is allowed to sign players for Chelsea for the first time

Chelsea will try to replace the goalscoring and creativity of Eden Hazard in the January transfer window, says boss Frank Lampard.

The Blues discovered last week that their two-window transfer ban has been halved, meaning they can sign players next month.

Lampard was speaking after his side beat Lille 2-1 to reach the Champions League last 16.

“There will be discussions about where we can strengthen,” said Lampard.

“The transfer window will be a bit fluid.

“It is quite clear in the summer we lost Eden Hazard who has been a huge part of scoring and creating for us in the last few seasons. We need more competition in those creative areas.”

Hazard, who scored 110 goals in 352 games for Chelsea, left for Real Madrid in the summer for an initial £89m in a deal which could rise to more than £150m.

Lampard, the club’s record goalscorer who took over as manager in the summer, but was not able to sign anyone new and has given plenty of youngsters a chance in the team.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport reduced the ban, which had been imposed for breaching rules on signing young players.

Chelsea are fourth in the Premier League and finished second in their Champions League group behind Valencia – conceding 33 goals in 22 games in those competitions so far.

Lampard said he “would look at all areas” but it is further forward he is more concerned about.

Tammy Abraham is Chelsea’s top scorer with 13 goals this season – but may not have even got in the team had the club been allowed to sign players in the summer

He added: “We have found a way in the team where we can still be competitive in the league and the Champions League and going forward you ask ‘can we get even better in forward areas to help us to be more clinical?’ We would always look at that.

“At the moment we are just not converting enough chances but we are a work in progress and I am not here to criticise people because we have just qualified from a really tough group.”

Chelsea would be able to sign players who have played in the Champions League this season after Uefa changed its rules last year to stop players being cup-tied.

The Blues were in control for most of their game against Lille – thanks to goals from top scorer Tammy Abraham and Cesar Azpilicueta – but former Blues striker Loic Remy set up a tense finale.

“It was a bit more nervous than it needed to be in the end and I’m a bit tired of saying that,” said Lampard. “It is a bit the story of our season. We need to take more of our chances. We leave teams slightly in the game, then they have two shots and score one goal.

“That was the frustrating thing in a very good performance. I felt it was so comfortable but I was aware of the Valencia score (a 1-0 win over Ajax) and 2-0 was a dangerous scoreline if you are scared of getting a draw.”

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Abitegeka Gerald

The News Editor ,Reporter at Kagadi Kibaale community Radio

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