Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech both officially join Chelsea tomorrow, July 1st, and will train separately from the first team, says manager Frank Lampard. In his pre-match press conference for the Blues’ game against West Ham United, Lampard explained the plan to integrate the two incoming players.
Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech to Initially Train Separately From Chelsea Squad
Training Plans Being Set Up
“I’m in the process of arranging that now. They do become our players [tomorrow]. Hakim hasn’t played for a while and Timo finished at the weekend,” Lampard said.
He continued: “We will formulate a plan for them which will look slightly different individually and I’ll decide in the meantime how it looks at Cobham at the training ground. Whether that means mixing with the squad or whether it means some physical work in the shorter term for themselves.”
Neither Ziyech nor Werner can play for Chelsea until next season begins. Training with the first team would give the squad a head start on next year, but possibly at the expense of this season’s remaining competitions.
The west Londoners are still battling for a top four spot and have drawn Manchester United in the FA Cup semi-finals. Plus, they have the Champions League Round of 16 second leg against Bayern Munich in August.
Having Werner and Ziyech train with the first team puts an eye on next year, not this year. And Lampard is well aware that could detrimentally impact the team.
Firm Focus on This Year
Lampard continued: “[Whether it helps them hit the ground running next season] will be up to how we arrange the plan because the first issue now is how we finish the season. That’s absolutely what we are focused on.
“In terms of the two players individually, we have to make sure they’ll arrive with good fitness and freshness levels for next season. They will have a longer break than the players we have already got in the squad so I will take that firmly into account and when I feel it is the right time to bring them in and around the squad this season, I can do that. If not, the absolute priority is making sure they are fresh and ready for next season.”
When will be the right time to integrate them into training? Only Lampard knows his plan. Most likely it will come after Chelsea, hopefully, confirm a top four spot with a game or two remaining and the end of their FA Cup run.
Anything can happen in one game. Realistically, though, the Blues have almost no shot at advancing past Bayern Munich in the Round of 16 second leg in Europe. In addition, the two will likely have to enter quarantine upon arrival in the UK. So, look for Werner and Ziyech to join first team training in a couple weeks before the Champions League resumes.