Frank Lampard has said he is excited about the battle between Tammy Abraham and Dominic Calvert-Lewin to win a place in England’s attack.
Although Abraham emerged as a challenger to Harry Kane after scoring 18 goals for Chelsea last season, he has found himself below Calvert-Lewin in the pecking order during England’s past two camps. The Everton striker has been in excellent form this season, scoring 16 goals for club and country, and Lampard will not underestimate the 23-year-old’s threat when Chelsea visit Goodison Park on Saturday evening.
“It is an exciting battle,” Lampard said. “I profess my love for Tammy enough sitting here. He’s my player. To speak about an opposition player is a bit different but what I do respect about Calvert-Lewin is that – and this is from afar because I don’t know him – it feels like a career that he has really worked for. That sounds simple but it is not a straightforward pathway.
“Not everyone gets in their first team at 17 or 18 other than the Wayne Rooney and Michael Owen types of the world. Other players have to find different ways and now he has shown, last season and particularly this season, consistently he’s an all-round striker. Every part of his game is a real threat.
“He has quite rightly got into the England team and he has settled into that so he is a major threat for us at the weekend and for Everton going forward. That’s why he has scored so many goals, so fair play to him. It is a good challenge for England to have a few strikers competing and he has thrown himself into that question.”
Lampard feels Chelsea have toughened up since their last trip to Everton ended in a 3-1 defeat, with two goals from Calvert-Lewin. Duncan Ferguson took caretaker charge of that game, with Carlo Ancelotti yet to be appointed, and Chelsea were physically overwhelmed.
“It was an experience for the players, one we didn’t handle well,” Lampard said. “It felt like we were going into a physical game and they beat us on that front. I’d like to think we’ve progressed since then.”