'We are all delighted for Fernando Torres' - Frank Lampard says Chelsea squad are thrilled for striker after Aston Villa goal
Midfielder hopes Spaniard's goal with his first touch can provide springboard for a great season after a game he describes as the Blues' best in pre-season so far.
Frank Lampard admitted the whole Chelsea squad were delighted to see Fernando Torres get on the scoresheet against Aston Villa.
The Blues secured a comfortable 2-0 victory over Alex McLeish’s side to seal the Premier League Asia Trophy, with the Spanish striker coming off the substitutes’ bench in the second half to score with his first touch of the ball.
Lampard was thrilled to see Torres strike and now hopes it can kick-start an impressive season in front of goal for the former Liverpool star.
“It’s very pleasing to see Fernando Torres score,” Lampard told Sky Sports.
“He’s a top player and a top striker, but obviously when players aren’t scoring people are going to talk about it.
“He’s kept his head down and worked hard. He hasn’t played all that much in pre-season, like a lot of us, and it can be quite hard particularly for strikers to get into good nick without having many minutes under your belt.
“But there’s nothing better than coming on and scoring with your first touch so we are all delighted for him.
“Of course, no one inside the club has ever doubted him; he’s a world-class striker and has proven that over many years. When we got him here we were all delighted to get a player of his quality.
“I’m sure he’s going to get a lot of goals. Obviously there is a lot of pressure – after he moved perhaps many people from the outside were looking for an opportunity to criticise him and it’s not been easy.
“It has been six months here, he wasn’t fully fit straight away and had to adapt to a new team and I think he, like of all us, is now feeling refreshed after the break and we’re now going to see the best of him.”
Lampard brushed off comparisons between himself and the scorer of the other Chelsea goal, Josh McEachran, but said he was delighted to see an English youngster make the grade at Stamford Bridge.
The England midfielder added: “Josh is his own player and he’s going to be a great player for Chelsea.
“He’s got so much natural talent and ability on the ball and has learned so much over the last year.
“Just as Jack Wilshere has done for Arsenal, he’s going to come through over this season and next season and is going to be a top player.
“It’s great to see a young English boy coming through when as a club we buy lots of foreign players and even bring in a lot of foreign youngsters. For a local boy to come through and do so well is great to see.”
The 33-year-old concluded by summarising the Blues’ performance against Villa, which he felt was the best of their pre-season outings so far.
Lampard said: “I think that was the best we’ve played in pre-season. We have progressed with every game we have played so far this summer.
“It’s very difficult when you come out to play here in Asia, the climate is very humid.
“We played pretty well the other day and today against good Premier League opposition we’ve done very well apart from a brief period in the second half where we got a bit tired.”
Chelsea’s final pre-season fixture is a glamour friendly against Scottish champions Rangers at Ibrox next Saturday.