Roman Abramovich pays Chelsea Women surprise visit

Roman Abramovich paid a surprise visit to Chelsea Women as the team squad toured Jerusalem’s historic sites.

The Blues were in Israel for a specially arranged friendly with the national team to celebrate women’s football and support further development of the sport in the country

The Chelsea owner met the Blues’ women stars on Monday, talking at length and posing for pictures with the squad.

Chelsea remain committed to their Say No to Anti-Semitism campaign, that is heavily backed by owner Abramovich.

The Russian-born Israeli citizen was one of the driving forces behind Chelsea’s friendly against New England Revolution in May, with the owners of both clubs donating 1million US dollars (£823,000) to related charities, the Daily Mail report.

The Chelsea squad enjoyed a walking tour of ancient Jerusalem, with club owner Abramovich meeting them at the Western Wall.

Head coach Hayes admitted last term’s Women’s Champions League semi-finalists were handed a big boost by Abramovich’s visit.

‘I didn’t tell them where we were going,’ Hayes told PA. ‘So that was great to surprise them with that. And they were like giggling teenagers when we went into the room.

‘But once Millie Bright and Carly Telford went up and asked for pictures, all the girls were asking for individual shots.

‘But we spent time not just talking about this game, but the season ahead, our work over the last season and seasons before, and how proud he is of the team and what we do.

‘It’s such a boost to the players, and especially in Jerusalem, it was a wonderful experience for all of them.

‘…The fact we got to spend the time in Israel with Roman, rather than just on the training pitch, not only shows his commitment to women’s football, but it also showcases the women’s game, and the massive impact of the visit not just for the young people here and for the players too.

‘So it’s hugely significant. Going to Jerusalem meant an awful lot to a lot of people.

‘We sat around at dinner talking about how important it is understanding the history of this region, seeing the value of human life, the love of working for a football club that promotes such wonderful values and supports its women’s football team in the way we have.

‘And it was all-round such a brilliant self-reflective day, and one to have time with our owner that we all thoroughly enjoyed.’

REVEALED: Why Chelsea chief Marina Granovskaia blocked Tiemoue Bakayoko move to Monaco

Fresh reports have emerged as to why Marina Granovskaia blocked Chelsea midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko’s move to Monaco on loan this summer.

The Stamford Bridge club are a two-window transfer ban by FIFA thereby making it impossible for the club to recruit new players to strenghten the team.

As a result, Frank Lampard must work with his current squad until next summer.

However, Chelsea can still sell and loan out players despite their ban.

And Bakayoko is a player who has an uncertain future under Lampard at Chelsea.

The midfielder, 25, spent last season on loan at AC Milan, making 31 Serie A appearances.

Bakayoko is likely to be loaned again out before the European transfer deadline, with his former side Monaco interested, report the Daily Express.

However, according to French outlet RMC Sport, Chelsea transfer chief Marina Granovskaia has blocked Bakayoko’s loan move to Monaco.

Chelsea reportedly feel Monaco are not “big enough” for the Frenchman to showcase his talents as the Blues potentially eye a permanent transfer.

Photo Credit: Twitter/chelseafc.com

Chelsea fans put pressure on Frank Lampard over Michy Batshuayi

Reports in England claim Chelsea fans are desperate for Frank Lampard to give Michy Batshuayi the chance to lead the line after he scored twice for the Under-23s on Monday.

Tammy Abraham and Olivier Giroud have both started up front for Chelsea so far this season but neither has scored or impressed in the 4-0 defeat to Manchester United or the 1-1 draw with Leicester.

Batshuayi has not started a league game for Chelsea since January 2018 and has since spent time on loan at Borussia Dortmund, Valencia and Crystal Palace.

But with Alvaro Morata and Eden Hazard’s departures over the summer and a transfer ban that will last until the end of the season, Lampard has been forced to look within for solutions to Chelsea’s attacking problems.

And Batshuayi’s double for the Under-23s on Monday, where Lampard watched on as Antonio Rudiger also made it through 90 minutes, has left Blues fans begging for the Belgian to be given his shot when they take on Norwich City on Saturday, report The Sun.

Why is Lampard playing Tammy Abrahams over Batshuayi? Is there something we don’t know?

— oddy (@Oddy4real) August 20, 2019

As much as Batshuayi is not maybe as good as our two strikers! He has a knack for getting goals whichever way!

— Arrizabawagga (@ianwagga) August 20, 2019
Batshuayi must start on Saturday 🔵👊🏻

— 🦏⚽️مُبِينٍ Mubeen۳۱۳⚽️🦏 (@MoMubeen313) August 20, 2019
One Twitter user with the handle @CFCMod_ wrote: “Okay so we’ve seen a bit of Tammy and a bit of Giroud. It’s only fair that we see a bit of Michy and that he’s given an equal opportunity despite my doubts about him. I see no harm in it whatsoever.”

Another, @RobertLHowe, said: “Batshuayi deserves a chance. We’ve got nothing to lose.”

Batshuayi himself took to Twitter to celebrate his return to form, writing: “Good for confidence. Let’s goo Chelsea.”

But it remains to be seen whether the Chelsea manager himself will be swayed by the stats or the pleas of fans to give the 25-year-old a chance to shine.

Lampard said on Sunday: “I thought Tammy did well last week and unfortunately, he didn’t get his goal.

Zappacosta joins AS Roma on loan, signs contract extension at Chelsea

Chelsea defender Davide Zappacosta has joined Roma on a six-month loan, with option to extend to June 2020.

The transfer was completed today after he flew in last night for a medical at the Villa Stuart clinic.

“Zappacosta joins the Giallorossi from the English club on an initial six-month loan which runs until January 2020. As part of the deal, there is the option to extend the loan until 30 June 2020,” read a statement.

At the same time, Chelsea announced that Zappacosta had extended his contract with the Premier League side until June 2022.

“I am happy to have arrived at Roma after an experience abroad that really helped form me, both as a man and a player,” Zappacosta told asroma.com.

“It’s truly exciting to play for a big club like this and I can’t wait to start training with my new teammates.”

The 27-year-old returns to Serie A after his €25m move from Torino to Chelsea in August 2017, so is reunited with former Toro director of sport Gianluca Petrachi.

“I am happy to welcome Zappacosta back to one of my teams,” Petrachi told the club website as cited by Football Italia.

“Compared to the player I appreciated at Torino, today Roma find a lad who is more mature on a professional and technical level thanks to his experience abroad.

“I am certain Davide will be able to give an important contribution during the course of the season.”

Zappacosta made 52 competitive appearances for Chelsea, scoring two goals with four assists.

He has chosen the Number 2 jersey for Roma.

Photo Credit: Twitter/asroma.com

Former Chelsea star aims dig at Maurizio Sarri

Gary Cahill has joked ‘it was a shame’ Frank Lampard wasn’t in charge of Chelsea last season instead of Maurizio Sarri after completing a move to Crystal Palace this summer.

The 33-year-old defender was frozen out of the side by Sarri and only played 22 minutes across the 2018/19 Premier League campaign before bringing an end to a seven-and-a-half year spell at Stamford Bridge.

Cahill says his final year under Sarri was a ‘horrible’ experience and admits he would have relished the chance to work with Lampard again after they shared a dressing room for two-and-a-half years at Chelsea, report the Metro.

‘It’s a shame he [Lampard] wasn’t in last year when I was there,’ Cahill told talkSPORT.

‘No, I’m only joking. It would have been very interesting to work under him, especially when you’ve played with him and know what he’s like, it would have been an experience I would have relished.

‘Leaving Chelsea was sad, but naturally everything has to come to an end.’

The ex-England international added: ‘It was certainly the right time for me to go from that club and I have nothing but positive things to say about the club.

‘There’s no issue there. It was just naturally the right time to go.

‘Every single year I’ve made many, many appearances throughout my career, and last year I made hardly any, so that tells it all and that it was the right time to go.’

Chelsea defender Zappacosta arrives in Italy for AS Roma, says “I’m happy to be back here in Rome”

Davide Zappacosta has arrived in Italy to complete his season-long loan move to AS Roma after the Giallorossi agreed deal with his Premier League club.

The Italy international was signed at the request of Antonio Conte in 2017 but struggled under Maurizio Sarri and is not in Frank Lampard’s plans.

According to Football Italia, Zappacosta touched down at Rome Fiumicino airport on Tuesday landing at 22:30 BST and looked to be in good spirits ahead of his move.

“I’ve missed Italy so much. I’m happy to be back here in Rome,” he told Sky Sport Italia.

The 27-year-old will undergo a medical at Villa Stuart clinic tomorrow before signing off his dry loan with the Serie A club.

He is the next addition to a new-look Lupi rearguard after Pau Lopez, Gianluca Mancini and Leonardo Spinazzola.