Frank Lampard happy for Raheem Sterling to miss England duty - but will keep picking him for Chelsea
Frank Lampard has backed Gareth Southgate’s decision to leave Raheem Sterling out of the England squad.
The 28-year-old won’t join up with the group to face Malta and Macedonia in June after it was mutually decided between the player and his country to allow him time to recover from a hamstring complaint.
Sterling is, however, expected to be available for Chelsea’s final two league matches starting with a trip to Old Trafford to face Manchester United before Newcastle visit Stamford Bridge.
Lampard, who remains interim manager until Mauricio Pochettino is appointed ahead of next season, explained he wasn’t consulted but trusts the decision.
He said: “I don’t know the exact details of the conversations between Raheem and Gareth.
“All I do know is that Raheem is a top player who has played for England for a long time. From my memories of playing for England for many years, I know these games at the end of the season are different challenges for players who have played a lot of minutes.
“So if there’s a mutual conversation between the two of them [to leave him out] then that’s best for England and the best for Raheem.”
Benoit Badiashile, meanwhile, has joined Chelsea’s injury list with a hamstring problem that could rule him out for several months.
Lampard has spoken of his disappointment at losing Badiashile, who extends the injury list to 10 players with only Joao Felix set to return for Thursday night’s match.
He added: “It’s a big blow for him. I’m really disappointed for him. He’s come here and he’s impressed. In the games just before he got injured, I was really happy with him. I think he’s going to be a really good player for the club.
“The injury is unfortunate. It’s a bit of a complicated injury in his hamstring. We’re probably talking months rather than weeks, unfortunately. That’s all I’ll say at the minute.
“It’s a little bit complicated. But hopefully for him, the time of it being over the summer means he’s not missing games and he comes back stronger.”