Mendy misses out but Lampard ‘very excited’ as Hakim Ziyech finally set for Chelsea bow

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The Football Faithful

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Edouard Mendy will miss Chelsea’s clash with Southampton this weekend, though Frank Lampard revealed his excitement following the return to fitness of summer signing Hakim Ziyech.

Mendy made his Premier League debut for the club during their impressive 4-0 win over Crystal Palace before the international break, but will now miss tomorrow’s encounter with Southampton at Stamford Bridge after picking up a minor injury whilst on international duty with Senegal.

Lampard also confirmed Thiago Silva will not feature following his travel excursions with Brazil, though Ben Chilwell, Christian Pulisic and Hakim Ziyech will be in the squad after returning to fitness.

“Mendy won’t be fit for this game but we hope he won’t be out for too long,” said Lampard at his pre-match press conference.

“Thiago Silva after his trip [with the Brazil national team], is not in the squad. He’s not unfit but he’s not ready to play in the weekend’s game due to the travelling he’s done.

“Ben Chilwell is in the squad. He’s got over some of the feelings with the injury he has had for a while that took him out of England squad, so he’s available for tomorrow.

“Christian Pulisic is in the squad, he’s fit and ready, and Hakim Ziyech is also in the squad. He’s not fit to start but is fit enough to participate in some way, we hope.”

Lampard spoke on his excitement at Ziyech’s return after the playmaker suffered a knee injury in pre-season, though he featured as a substitute for Morocco during their 3-1 win over Senegal last Friday.

The Chelsea boss says the 27-year-old has impressed in training and is in line to make his Blues’ debut tomorrow, with Lampard hopeful he can make a big impact once he regains full match fitness.

“I’m excited to see Hakim play,” he added. “It feels like a long time since we brought him here, and he hasn’t played since the Dutch league finished before lockdown.

“He’s worked hard to get fit, he looks really good in training and he’s been fantastic with his professionalism in working hard to get back fit. It’s just game minutes that we need for him now.

“I have a good relationship with Hakim, we’ve had plenty of honest conversations and yes, I’m very excited to see him play and hopefully we can see him at his best, like he was for Ajax.”