Frank Lampard has insisted his decision not to start with Jorginho against Crystal Palace does not mean the midfielder’s Chelsea future is in doubt.
Blues boss Lampard instead started with youngster Billy Gilmour at Selhurst Park, where a 3-2 win boosted the west London side’s hopes of securing a Champions League spot.
The omission of Jorginho will no doubt fuel speculation that he is on the way out of Stamford Bridge.
Lampard clearly rates Gilmour, who was hugely impressive when give first-team chances prior to the season being paused because of the coronavirus pandemic.
But Lampard praised Jorginho after the win at Palace, where the Italian was brought on to steady the ship as the visitors were coming under pressure.
Speaking at his post-match press conference, Lampard said: “The two games Billy played before lockdown, against Liverpool – who are the best team in the world – and Everton, (he was) fantastic.
“He trains like that as well. So does Jorginho – they train really well.
“I’ve got to make difficult choices. It doesn’t mean anything about the future of Jorginho, Billy or anyone else.
“You saw the impact Jorginho had calming the team when he came on at the end. I know he can give us that.”
Lampard admitted Chelsea were unconvincing in midfield, where they were without the injured N’Golo Kante and Mateo Kovacic.
Lampard said: “I thought Billy did pretty well. I wasn’t overly delighted with our midfield today, considering how they played in recent games and how slicky we’ve moved the ball. We held on to it a bit long today.”