Lampard open to ‘conversations’ with wantaway Chelsea players amid Rudiger and Hudson-Odoi speculation

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Frank Lampard says “it remains to be seen” regarding what happens with the futures of several of his first-team players as some Chelsea stars struggle for minutes.

The Blues boss left Antonio Rudiger out of the matchday squad against Liverpool despite Thiago Silva not being available, with Fikayo Tomori, Andreas Christensen and Kurt Zouma all selected ahead of him.

Meanwhile, Callum Hudson-Odoi has made just one start since February 1 and rumours have suggested Bayern Munich are interested in trying to sign the 19-year-old once again.

Refusing to go into specifics on the futures of individual players, Lampard admitted he will have discussions about player exits soon.

“It remains to be seen,” Lampard said. “We’re not in a period where the transfer window or market is acting like it has done in recent years in terms of how players move or what level they move at.

“Competitive games have just started. I’m very open to those conversations with the players as the next couple of weeks go on. My priority will always be making sure I maintain and keep the strongest squad I can for this club but after that, of course, the individual conversations will happen.

“I will try and make sure I go into the season once the window shuts with the squad that I feel is healthy and competitive. There are decisions for me to take, for the club to make and for the players themselves to make.

“That’s the situation now. I want to make the squad have healthy competition but not to have so many players not competing regularly and feeling like they’re out of squads and not getting the minutes they want.

“Those are very much conversations I will have going forward. It doesn’t mean that we’re forced in any one of those positions or areas to move players on, but those conversations will be ongoing over the next couple of weeks.”

Indeed, there is talk of growing unrest with Hudson-Odoi having only had 10 minutes at the beginning of the season despite injuries to two rivals in his position. Lampard will start Hudson-Odoi against Barnsley in the Carabao Cup and he wants the youngster to keep fighting for his place.

“At the moment we have Christian Pulisic injured, Hakim Ziyech injured,” Lampard added. “We played Timo Werner out wide the other day, but the absolute natural winger who is fit at the minute is Callum.

“We know in a Premier League squad and the number of games we’re going to play, we need competition in those areas, back-ups in those areas and players competing to make that position their own.

“That’s where Callum is at and that’s why I keep saying he needs to train, he needs to show [hunger] in training every day and when he gets his opportunity in games, which he will have tomorrow because he will play against Barnsley.

“He has to show in every minute, on and off the ball, what he can do for the team and that’s the position Callum is at at the minute. He’s had an early breakthrough in his career because of his talent, he’s had an injury and now I want to see him flourish again.”

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