Frank Lampard has warned that Chelsea target Anthony Gordon would “see a different side to me” if the winger refused to play for Everton.
Gordon’s future remains unclear with Chelsea expected to make another improved offer for the 21-year-old before Thursday’s transfer deadline after a second bid, reported to be £45million, was rejected.
Wesley Fofana has been absent from Leicester’s squad amid interest from Chelsea and Wolves’ Willy Boly refused to play against Newcastle at the weekend in a bid to force through a departure, but Lampard insisted that was not Gordon’s style.
The Everton boss said: “Anthony wouldn’t, shouldn’t, couldn’t do that with me. If he did try and sit out a game he’d see a different side to me. No doubt about that and I think he knows that.
“I’m not playing the hard one, it’s just that it would be so alien from what I’d expect from him. I just know that’s not him.
“At the same time he’s not a robot and all this attention is difficult. I understand that, I was that ambitious young player.
“That’s the beauty of Anthony. Hard-working. He wants to be better. He wants to do what he did (on Saturday), which is score goals, run for this team, and that’s why he’s a delight to work with. So there was never any idea that Anthony would act that way.”
When reminded he had been in a similar situation as a young player before moving from West Ham to Chelsea in 2001, Lampard added: “Yeah, and I played three-and-a-half, four seasons for West Ham, so there’s my answer for Anthony. He’s played one for us.”
Lampard remains hopeful of retaining one of his prized assets, who is expected to start in Tuesday night’s Premier League game at Leeds.
Liverpool-born Gordon, who progressed through Everton’s academy, scored his first goal of the season in Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Brentford and was a stand-out performer.
“He’s in the squad Tuesday for sure,” Lampard said. “His character’s great. He’s in the squad.
“He’s a huge player for us. We’re getting towards the end of the window now and Anthony’s a huge player for us and will be this season.”
"You can have ups and downs but we all need to give everything and I think that's what I bring to the team… I will fight."@nealmaupay18 ✊
— Everton (@Everton) August 29, 2022
Striker Neal Maupay could make his Everton debut at Elland Road after the Frenchman signed from Brighton on Friday for an undisclosed fee.
Lampard added: “We’ll see where he is, but he’ll be involved in the squad I’m pretty sure.”
Mason Holgate will not feature and is expected to be out for several weeks after sustaining a knee injury at Brentford.
Tom Davies appeared off the bench on Saturday after recovering from a groin strain, but Dominic Calvert-Lewin (knee) and Abdoulaye Doucoure (hamstring) are still out.