Frank Lampard opens up on Chelsea’s Timo Werner signing/Provides updates on Hudson-Odoi & Loftus-Cheek before Villa

Chelsea boss Frank Lampard has today discussed the club’s signing of Timo Werner, as well as providing updates on the fitness of a trio of Blues stars.

Werner on fire

Versatile attacker Werner has enjoyed a scintillating campaign to date, during which the German has directly contributed to 34 goals in 32 Bundesliga appearances.

This includes a hat-trick late last month, as Leipzig put Mainz to the sword by 5 goals to nil.

Werner has also found the back of the net on 4 occasions during this season’s Champions League campaign, including a crucial last-16 first-leg strike versus Tottenham.

Chelsea clinch deal

This level of production, meanwhile, inevitably resulted in widespread recent speculation that Werner was being eyed up by some of European football’s heavyweights ahead of the opening of the summer transfer window.

The outfit most persistently touted as a potential destination, until early this month, had been Premier League giants Liverpool.

The Reds were long viewed as overwhelming favourites to clinch a deal for the Leipzig standout, with reports having even gone as far as to suggest that Jurgen Klopp held a ‘virtual meeting’ with Werner over Easter.

LONDON, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 19: Giovani Lo Celso of Tottenham Hotspur and Timo Werner of RB Leipzig during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 first leg match between Tottenham Hotspur and RB Leipzig at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on February 19, 2020 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

As such, it was viewed as a major surprise when, in something of a bolt from the blue, word began to mount that Liverpool had been firmly overtaken in the race for the German, by rivals Chelsea.

This day two weeks ago, the Blues stole a march on the competition for Werner, after it was revealed that Roman Abramovich and co. had agreed to fork over the required £53 million to activate the versatile attacker’s release clause.

Confirmation was subsequently forthcoming that Werner himself had also agreed to a deal with Chelsea, with an official transfer announcement having then arrived yesterday morning:

‘A signing that will improve us’

As such, Werner will be plying his trade at Stamford Bridge from the 2020/21 campaign.

And, as outlined above, Frank Lampard has today for the first time opened up on his first major reinforcement as Chelsea boss.

Speaking to reporters this afternoon, the English tactician was drawn on Werner’s imminent arrival, as well as what the prolific hitman is set to bring to the table in the club’s colours.

And, after revealing that he has been personally following the Leipzig star’s progress for some time, Lampard went on to assure that Werner’s presence in his side’s ranks will without doubt ‘improve us’:

‘I’ve certainly followed him for a long time myself, individually, just as a talented player, even before I had this job. But as a club, clearly we went for him, and he certainly will strengthen us in my opinion.’

‘He’s got huge talent, had a fantastic season this year but before that as well. Where we probably couldn’t do as much business in the last couple of windows for whatever reasons, it’s given us a chance to see some youth have more time in the team.’

‘But we were very clear about the fact we wanted to improve and Timo Werner is always a signing that will improve us. I’m certainly very excited to have him playing for Chelsea and we look forward to having him.’

CHO out/RLC in contention

Lampard then went on to provide a fitness update on his squad, ahead of Chelsea’s return to action this weekend.

The capital giants are set to travel to Birmingham on Sunday evening, for a Premier League meeting with struggling Aston Villa.

The visitors, though, will be without the services of both Callum Hudson-Odoi and Fikayo Tomori, after the pair picked up respective injury problems in training:

Long-term absentee Ruben Loftus-Cheek, though, is in contention to feature from the off at Villa Park:

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This article was edited by Josh Barker.

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