Chelsea manager Frank Lampard looking to fill Eden Hazard's void, Latest Football News - The New Paper

Chelsea manager Frank Lampard looking to fill Eden Hazard's void

Chelsea manager wants more competition in forward areas as Blues reach last 16

Chelsea manager Frank Lampard says he hopes to sign a forward next month to make up for the loss of Belgian Eden Hazard, who moved to Real Madrid in the close season.

Chelsea were cleared to sign players in the next transfer window last week after the Court of Arbitration for Sport halved a ban for breaching rules on the international transfer and registration of players under 18.

Hazard scored a total of 28 goals in his last two English Premier League seasons before moving to Spain for an initial 100-million euro (S$151m) deal.

"I will look at all areas of the team," said Lampard after his side reached the last 16 of the Champions League by beating Lille 2-1 at Stamford Bridge yesterday morning (Singapore time).

"It was quite clear in the summer that when you lose Hazard, who was a huge part of scoring or creating our goals last season and the season before that, (you lose) a player of a high level.

"We've found ways as a team where we can still be competitive... But, moving forward, if we can get even better in forward areas to help competition... then we'll always look at that."

Lampard did not think that signing another striker might affect the confidence of younger players like the 22-year-old Tammy Abraham, who has scored 13 goals for the club this season.

"I don't think it is a concern at all because they are here to stay, I truly believe in that," the 41-year-old added.

"I believe in the quality of all the young players here."

First-half goals from Abraham and Cesar Azpilicueta were just reward for a dominant first-half display, but Chelsea were forced to hold on in the final stages after former Blues striker Loic Remy halved Lille's deficit 12 minutes from time.

Chelsea progress in second place in Group H behind Valencia, who beat Ajax 1-0 in Amsterdam, meaning they face the daunting prospect of a last-16 tie against Bayern Munich, Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain, Juventus or RB Leipzig.

"It's a really good achievement for the group but, in the next stage and how cut-throat it will be, we can't afford to miss chances or give chances away like we have," said Lampard, who becomes the first English manager to lead a team into the Champions League last 16, since his uncle, Harry Redknapp, did it in the 2010-11 season with Tottenham Hotspur.

"It's a very tough draw no matter who it is because we came second in our group.

"We should be very pleased we are there and embrace the challenge whoever we get."

With Chelsea's Champions League campaign set to resume next February, Lampard's focus now shifts to the domestic front.

The Blues' next match is at home against Bournemouth in the English Premier League on Saturday. - AFP, REUTERS