Chelsea have opened talks with Tammy Abraham and Fikayo Tomori over new five-year deals, signalling their determination to continue building for the future under Frank Lampard.
Abraham is set to more than double his £50,000-a-week wages after scoring seven goals in his past four games and Tomori, whose deal runs out in 2021, is also in line for a new contract after breaking into the first team this season. The 21-year-old centre-back has started Chelsea’s past three games and scored his first goal for the club in the 5-2 victory at Wolves last Saturday.
Chelsea have tried to turn their transfer ban into a positive by giving opportunities to young players at the start of the Lampard era. Supporters have welcomed the sight of academy graduates being given regular games and have thrilled at Abraham’s goalscoring exploits.
The 21-year-old forward, who has three years left on the deal he signed before joining Swansea on loan in 2017, scored a hat-trick against Wolves and is pushing for a recall to Gareth Southgate’s England squad, though he could commit his international future to Nigeria. He has not represented England in a competitive fixture and is entitled to switch.
Abraham spent last season on loan at Aston Villa and his 26 goals helped Dean Smith’s side win promotion. He has continued to progress since returning to Chelsea and is above Michy Batshuayi and Olivier Giroud in the pecking order at the moment.
Lampard’s appointment as manager has energised Chelsea’s young players. Ruben Loftus-Cheek, who is recovering from an achilles injury, and Mason Mount committed their long-term futures in the summer. It is thought that Mount, who is a doubt to face Liverpool on Sunday after limping off with an ankle injury during Tuesday’s defeat by Valencia in the Champions League, would not have been given regular opportunities had Maurizio Sarri not left to take charge of Juventus. The likelihood is that the England midfielder would have pursued another loan after spending last season with Derby County.
Callum Hudson-Odoi, who is close to a first-team return after recovering from a ruptured achilles, was so frustrated with his lack of opportunities under Sarri that he had been keen on a move to Bayern Munich in January. However the 18-year-old winger is likely to have a prominent role under Lampard and is close to finalising a five-year deal worth more than £100,000 a week.
Meanwhile Ross Barkley will not shy away from taking another penalty after arguing with Willian before his costly miss during Chelsea’s defeat by Valencia.
Chelsea were handed a chance to rescue a point when they won a late penalty but there was confusion when Willian, who has confirmed he wanted to take the spot-kick, unsuccessfully tried to convince Barkley to give him the ball. Jorginho also spoke to Barkley, who ignored his teammates before sending his effort over via the bar.
“If there was another penalty in the game I would have been confident of taking it,” Barkley said. “You can miss penalties. It’s not the end of the world. We’ve got five more group games to go that we’re aiming to win.”