Darren Bent believes ‘people have made excuses’ for Chelsea boss Frank Lampard.
The 2019/20 season ended with a disappointing defeat to Arsenal in the FA Cup final, but generally it’s been positive campaign for the Blues.
Lampard guided the club he represented as a player for 13 years to a top four finish in his first season in charge.
He achieved this despite being unable to make any signings last summer due to the club’s transfer ban.
It’s led to a number of the club’s academy players, including Tammy Abraham and Mason Mount, breaking into the first-team, something Lampard has been widely praised for.
But Bent believes some of this praise isn’t fully justified.
Bent said on talkSPORT: “A lot of people have lauded Frank Lampard for the job he’s done this season. He’s brought through the youngsters… but he was forced to do this.
“At times people have made excuses for him; yeah he’s given them [academy players] an opportunity and they’ve taken it, but I do think that next season is going to be completely different.
“Are they going to sign all these players, will the youth players get more opportunities next season?
“That’s going to be pressure in itself because the people in authority will be like ‘hold on, you were forced to do it last season, where are the youngsters this season?’
“It’s an open chequebook, they can sign whoever they want. Are these players still going to get the opportunities?”
Chelsea haven’t wasted any time in making signings in this window, having already wrapped up deals for forwards Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner from Ajax and RB Leipzig respectively.
They are rumoured to be on the hunt for a new goalkeeper – with Lampard dropping Kepa Arrizabalaga for the final as well as their final match of the Premier League season – as well as a left-back and midfielder Kai Havertz from Bayer Leverkusen.