Frank Lampard has admitted Chelsea will have to share out Eden Hazard’s goals among the Stamford Bridge squad to thrive without the Belgium talisman.
Hazard struck a Blues career-high 21 goals last term, in his final season with the club before moving to Real Madrid in a deal that could fetch £150million.
Tammy Abraham, Olivier Giroud and Michy Batshuayi are Chelsea’s central striking options for the campaign ahead, with the west Londoners currently under a FIFA transfer ban.
Forwards Christian Pulisic, Willian, Pedro and Callum Hudson-Odoi and midfielders Mason Mount, Ross Barkley and Ruben Loftus-Cheek will all be expected to chip in with goals too – and Lampard knows his players will have to spread that load.
Asked whether Chelsea have a 20-goal-a-season man or must share out the scoring duties, Lampard replied: “We will have to find it among the group.
“I know those stats and I know how many goals Eden Hazard was part of in terms of scoring and assisting.
“So they are facts that are real and ones we have to try to address with work, which means can we score goals from other areas of the pitch?
“Can we be more clinical up front and then the challenge is clear for the strikers and the attacking players.
“Can you be the players to score those goals because I agree the top teams in the league tend to have players that are scoring regularly, who do win games that are tight, who do put you clear in games in good periods, that help you score enough goals to put the game to bed.
“And that’s a challenge for us because it’s something we aren’t doing and we need to do.
“The Eden thing, we all know the reliance in terms of his output was huge and he is in the top bracket of players in world football, attacking players in world football, so you have to accept that.
“There is enough quality in this team to win games for sure without Eden. He’s not here now so it’s the end of that story.”
Chelsea’s strikers have drawn a blank in front of goal in their two Premier League games to date, leaving Lampard hopeful of a change in luck at Norwich on Saturday.
Lampard insisted he does not want his Chelsea set-up limited to just one main source of goals in any case.
“Look at Liverpool; across the front three, they scored 60-something goals last season between the three of them,” said Lampard.
“Every team is its own entity and it doesn’t have to be one way to win a game or to score a goal.
“We obviously have to score from different areas of the pitch and that’s pretty clear. We need to score more goals at this moment, for sure. That’s work for the squad.”
While Lampard insisted he would not pine for the departed Hazard, he also maintained there would be no wistful wishes for a talisman striker in the ilk of former Blues team-mate Didier Drogba.
When asked if Chelsea had ever properly replaced Ivorian goal king Drogba, Lampard said: “I suppose Diego Costa would certainly have a question on that because he was a fantastic striker and I don’t like the idea of harping back to players of eras gone because that’s what it is.
“They are gone and the Didier Drogbas and Diego Costas don’t always come along and they are not always easy to find.
“It is not nice to compare but what I will say is the players that are here now have to try and show what they have got. They have got the qualities there. I have belief in Tammy and Oli (Giroud) and Michy, our wide players, midfielders to score goals.”