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Frank Lampard offers strong selection hint over 19-year-old’s Chelsea involvement vs Man City



(Photo by BEN STANSALL/AFP via Getty Images)

Frank Lampard has explained his decision to prevent Carney Chukwuemeka from joining up with the England U20s for the World Cup and revealed his chances of Chelsea minutes before the end of the season.

After joining from Aston Villa last summer, Chukwuemeka has been limited of game time during his first season at Chelsea.

The 19-year-old has featured for Chelsea in 11 Premier League matches this season, starting just two including the fixture against Manchester City at Stamford Bridge in January.

Chukwuemeka earned a call-up to the England squad for the U20s World Cup, but a late decision was made by Lampard to block him from going due to the midfield injury situation at Chelsea.

Recent injuries to N’Golo Kante and Mateo Kovacic have left Chelsea light in midfield which has left Chukwuemeka in a similar situation to Lewis Hall who was prevented from being selected as a result of Ben Chilwell and Marc Cucurella’s injuries.

Chukwuemeka’s last appearance for Chelsea in the league came in March against Everton. He has played 27 minutes of football for Chelsea since the beginning of February.

He has also not been part of the last seven league matchday squads, but there is a chance he could return this weekend when Chelsea travel to the Etihad Stadium to face Premier League champions Manchester City.

Lampard confirmed why Chukwuemeka was not allowed to go to England instantly, leaving the door open for a late arrival should they progress into the knockout stages, and offered a hint over whether or not he would make the squad against Man City.

“He’s a Chelsea player and we’ve got injuries in that area,” said Lampard. “The situation with Carney is he’s come into a club, a big move for him, and this season hasn’t managed to get so many minutes, the size of the squad, and settling in at a new club. Hopefully, there’s an opportunity in these three games for him.

“He’s our player, and we have lost players. We need him to stay. There’s a possibility he can join up at the end of the season if the team get through into the next stages. It might be the best of both worlds in an ideal way but it’s our player and we had to make that decision. I felt a bit for Carney, he was keen to go but at the same time what happened meant he had to stay.”