Chelsea forward needs to be protected as Lampard faces selection headache – Opinion

Chelsea forward Tammy Abraham made headlines this week, not just for missing his penalty in the Super Cup final against Liverpool on Wednesday. The youngster was a victim of racial abuse by his own fans, which has been since condemned by the club and his colleagues.

Abraham started Chelsea’s game against Manchester United last week but did not fill the manager with confidence, losing his place in the starting XI against Liverpool.

Olivier Giroud, on the other hand, scored Chelsea’s opener in the Super Cup game leaving Frank Lampard, Chelsea’s manager, to make a tough decision regarding his starting XI against Leicester City this weekend.

Lampard’s Striker Options

The former Chelsea midfielder has started his career as the club’s manager with back to back losses against Manchester United and Liverpool. While the squad at Stamford Bridge is a bit weak in certain areas, Chelsea have certainly missed a natural, goal-scoring striker. Alvaro Morata is out on loan in Spain while Gonzalo Higuain’s loan spell in London was not fruitful.

This has left the manager with Giroud and Abraham acting as the only senior strikers. Both players add different threats to Chelsea’s attack, but are not ideal for a team fighting for a place in the Champions League next season.

While Giroud is not the mobile presence that Lampard needs leading his attack, Abraham is still relatively inexperienced in the Premier League and cannot be relied upon to score 15+ league goals this season.

Christian Pulisic and Pedro have both been effective in the past in false 9 roles, giving Lampard another dimension but this does not make his choice for the Leicester City game any easier.

Should Abraham Be Given A Break?

The heartbreak the 21-year old faced against Liverpool might not be easy for him to forget in a hurry. And the unfortunate comments from his fans only unsettles him more. At such a tender age, a player like Abraham needs all the support he can get and such vile criticism, by his own fans, can seriously damage his confidence.

Lampard started him at Old Trafford, showing faith in his abilities but he might be forced to rest him this weekend, and give Giroud another shot. However, if the manager feels that the youngster is ready to step up after the Istanbul episode, there is no reason for the Blues to keep him on the sidelines.

Abraham will be hungry, waiting to prove himself and giving him a chance just days after all that has happened will only help him build up some confidence. It will also test his character and a decent performance against the likes of Caglar Soyuncu and Jonny Evans could yet make him a fan favourite.

Leaving him on the bench could also have adverse effects, and could show a drastic drop in confidence. But if Lampard believes that he is not ready, it could be best to keep him out of the firing range for a week.

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