Lampard backs Jorginho after Chelsea midfielder is left out again

Frank Lampard insisted his decision not to start with Jorginho against Crystal Palace should not be taken as a sign the midfielder is on his way out of Chelsea.

Boss Lampard instead started with youngster Billy Gilmour at Selhurst Park, where the Blues won 3-2.

The decision will fuel speculation that Jorginho, who has been linked with a return to Italy, is set to leave.

Jorginho was brought on with Chelsea under pressure late in the game and was praised for his contribution.

Gilmour has struggled recently but Lampard said the Scot’s previous displays for the first team meant he deserved another chance.

“The two games Billy played before lockdown, against Liverpool – who are the best team in the world – and Everton, (he was) fantastic,” Lampard said.

“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.”

Chelsea weathered a second-half storm against the south London side and Lampard admitted his team were below par 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.”