By Ryan Moran
Sub-edited by George Overhill
Frank Lampard does not see “regret” as the word to describe Chelsea letting Declan Rice go from their youth academy, despite his rise with West Ham.
The West Ham captain left Cobham at 14-years-old and has gone on to establish himself in the first team at the London Stadium as well as the England senior set-up.
“His journey, I believe, in Chelsea and going to West Ham is a good story to hear because there are lots of those stories for different reasons to whatever level and that shows a strength of character,” said Lampard in his pre-match press conference.
The midfielder has made 112 Premier League appearances since making his debut in 2017. 27 more than Reece James and Mason Mount put together, two players in the same youth team who made the grade at Stamford Bridge.
“It’s not an exact science to pick, choose, whatever, players but the academy work brilliantly here and bring through a lot of good players,” Lampard continued.
Lampard is yet to beat the Hammers having lost both games last year and is currently on back-to-back losses to Everton and Wolves respectively.
Hakim Ziyech and Callum Hudson-Odoi will be checked late having returned to training Friday. Fabian Balbuena and Michail Antonio will be late calls for West Ham as well.
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See George Overhill’s report from Chelsea’s 2-1 defeat to Wolves here.