Chelsea midfielder Ross Barkley has not featured for Frank Lampard’s side since October.
Barkley has been criticised for his professionalism this season at Chelsea, after some off the field incidents.
Lampard has always defended Barkley publicly, but the England international has now not been seen in a Chelsea shirt since October.
That owes partly to injury, although he has now been back in training for a considerable amount of time.
Barkley is actually ill currently, so he will definitely miss Chelsea’s match against Aston Villa in midweek.
But Lampard has challenged the midfielder to force his way back into his plans now.
“He is training. Training well, that has never been a huge issue. That is up to him now,” Lampard said, when asked if Barkley could get back into Chelsea contention.
To get back into Chelsea’s team Barkley will need to force his way ahead of the likes of Mateo Kovacic and Mason Mount in the pecking order.
Barkley will also have the added complication of Ruben Loftus-Cheek returning from injury sooner rather than later, which could make his task at Stamford Bridge a difficult one.