Published On: Wed, Jan 27th, 2021

Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel faces pressure over four Blues stars because of Frank Lampard | Football | Sport

At just 21, James is already offering excellent displays and can only improve if he continues to play. Surely Tuchel will recognise his potential and keep him as a mainstay, but to not do so would be criminal.

For his first game, in a 3-4-3 formation, Callum Hudson-Odoi is a surprise pick over James in the right-sided position, and it will be intriguing to see if that is a long-term plan or just a trial. 

James made 55 appearances and contributed to 10 goals during that time under Lampard and Chelsea will be thankful their legendary midfielder gave him the chance to play if he grows into the player that he can.

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Tammy Abraham

Another who got his big break at Chelsea under Lampard, having helped defeat his Derby side with Aston Villa in the Championship play-off, Abraham has had a fine last 18 months.

Though not everything has gone swimmingly during that time, having found himself behind Olivier Giroud in spells, Abraham’s record of 29 goals and 12 assists in 75 games is respectable.

Still just 23, Abraham was top scorer with 18 strikes across all competitions last term – including 15 in the league – as Chelsea secured a top-four finish.

Forty-one goal contributions in 75 games means he is directly involved in a goal in one of every two games, and he will hope to improve his strike rate and become more clinical with greater experience.

Having shown he can be deadly at Championship level, with 23 goals in 2016-17 for Bristol City and 25 with Villa in 2018-19, Abraham has offered evidence to suggest he can eventually become a consistent one-in-two scorer at Premier League level too.

Abraham will have to work hard to convince Tuchel he can be the main No 9 in a team where Giroud and Timo Werner are among his rivals for the starting spot.

It is Giroud who starts against Wolves but Abraham has the talent at his disposal and the German manager will know the Frenchman is slowly coming to the end of his career.

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