Frank Lampard has emphasised his belief that age is irrelevant when judging a player, and that if a player has the ability, that is what matters.
The 41-year old spoke to the media on Tuesday morning in Japan ahead of the clubs pre-season games against Kawasaki Frontale and Barcelona within the next week.
Lampard was questioned on the chances of youngsters being able to break into the first team squad this season, and his message is clear.
Lampard said “everybody knows I have a keen eye for the younger players in the academy. We have a batch of them fighting to get into the first team.
“To be absolutely clear, they now have to make the difference. It’s a road that is given to them and now they have to be the ones that play well enough to get into the team.
“I don’t care about age, I care about performance and how people train and play. Now with the squad it is up to those players to show what they can do.”
Chelsea arrived in Japan early on Tuesday morning and there were some familiar faces, as well as some younger players who will be seeking this chance to prove themselves, including Kasey Palmer, Mason Mount and Tammy Abraham just to name a few.
It will be seen by most as the perfect and rare opportunity to break the lines between the academy teams and the first team, with Frank Lampard and Jody Morris at the helm.
Chelsea face Kawasaki Frontale in Japan this Friday at 11.30am, and then Barcelona on the following Tuesday at 3pm UK time.