Gianfranco Zola has defended Tammy Abraham following Chelsea’s 4-0 defeat to Manchester United and predicted that the striker will come good under Frank Lampard.
Abraham, 21, who has earned Lampard’s trust after a successful loan spell at Aston Villa and a promising pre-season, started alongside fellow academy product Mason Mount, 20, in a new-look Chelsea team at Old Trafford.
Though Abraham had a bright start, hitting the woodwork with a powerful strike in the fifth minute, the young forward faded as United took control of the game, with Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial finding the net either side of half-time.
Abraham was replaced by Olivier Giroud shortly after Martial’s goal and Rashford immediately scored his second before substitute Daniel James put the icing on the cake for United with a well-taken strike in the 81st minute.
Asked about Abraham’s display after the final whistle, Chelsea legend Zola told beIN SPORTS: ‘Maybe in the beginning he might suffer because you know the difference from the Championship and the Premier League is huge.
‘He will have to adapt but he has a lot of energy, he’s positive. ‘I think in the end he will get to the level he needs to be. But he will have to be supported more from the others, Pedro will have to produce more offensively and also all the others.’
Jose Mourinho questioned Lampard’s team selection after the match and claimed Chelsea needed ‘a little more’ from youngsters Abraham and Mount, with experienced players out injured.