Frank Lampard urged Tammy Abraham to keep working hard after the striker’s hat-trick helped Chelsea win 5-2 at Wolves.
Abraham rose to the top of the Premier League scoring charts on seven goals as the treble at Molineux added to braces in each of his previous two appearances.
The 21-year-old, who won the two senior England caps he has to date in friendlies in 2017, was not part of Gareth Southgate’s Three Lions squad for the recent international break.
“Without telling Gareth what to do… But to score seven goals in three games and be top-scorer and play with the quality he is playing his all-round game…
“The three different types of goals he scored were exactly what you want from Tammy. A messy one, a good header and then a fantastic feet and finish goal.
“He has to sustain it and has to get even better. He has to be hungry, which I know he is. He can never rest on his laurels, because there is more work to be done.
“And that England squad is a few weeks away. So he needs to keep playing at that level and he’ll have a great chance, I’d suggest.”
Nigeria have not given up on persuading Abraham to switch to them, and when Lampard was asked if he had spoken to the player about that, he said: “No.
“I don’t really. That’s obviously not my choice. I know Tammy has been in England squads before and I’m not surprised Nigeria would want him. But it’s a question for him I suppose”.
Lampard added: “I have got confidence in him, I’m prepared to give him chances, but even more now, I’ll be tougher on him, because he has shown what he can do.
“The moment he wants to come off that and think goals will just drop at his feet will be a moment then that maybe he will be rested. So it’s important he makes sure he stays on his game.
“But I’m happy because I see him every day with a feeling like he just wants to play and score goals every game and that’s something a bit special. You don’t see that in all young players and it is a great gift in him.”
Chelsea took the lead just after the half hour mark through a stunning Fikayo Tomori strike before Abraham’s hat-trick had them 4-0 up by the 55th minute.
Wolves hit back in the 69th via an own-goal by Abraham, whose eventful outing then concluded with him coming off with an injury that did not appear serious. Substitute Patrick Cutrone then made it 4-2, before Mason Mount notched Chelsea’s fifth in added time.
Chelsea have now scored 11 league goals this term, and all of them have been netted by young English players: seven by Abraham, three by Mount – who made his England debut last week – and one by Tomori.
Lampard, whose side host Valencia in the Champions League on Tuesday, also said defender Antonio Rudiger had been substituted at half-time having slipped on his way off the pitch and “bothered his groin”, adding: “It was more than a precaution because he did feel some pain. We’ll assess it over the next couple of days.”
The result was a first home defeat since January for Wolves, who are yet to register a league win this season.
Boss Nuno Espirito Santo said: “Bad performance, bad game.
“I think we started well and we suffered a goal that changed that. In that moment we didn’t react well, we made a mistake, then we made a second mistake, two goals down, and it was tough. Chelsea have good players and we have to congratulate them.
“Too many goals, too many mistakes. What I think is realise what happened and don’t repeat. We have to work hard and not go through (that) again.”