Gianfranco Zola has denied that Chelsea's Frank Lampard did a special favor when he allowed him to win Mason Mount and Fikayo Tomori on Wednesday in the Carabao Cup for Derby.
Maurizio Sarri took the rare step of allowing the pair to meet his regulars in the last 16 against Stamford Bridge – but the Italian's assistant, Zola, admits that the levy has nothing to do with Lampard's hero status at Chelsea ,
Under normal circumstances, under these circumstances, a loan player would not be eligible under Article 6 (3) of the competition rules, but Chelsea has given written consent to the couple, each of whom has distinguished itself under Lampard.
Frank Lampard was allowed to use his lending stars for derby against Chelsea
Fikayo Tomori was able to play in the game on Wednesday against the Rams against his home club
The last time Chelsea was in the League Cup with one of their loaned players, against Stoke in October 2015, Marco van Ginkel was forced to sit outside.
However, Zola is convinced that Lampard is not given a favorable treatment. He said, "I can not tell you (Lampard). Because we believe that Mason and Tomori grew up as players at the end of the day.
"We think it's a chance for them to play faster against us. The more they play against Premier League teams, the more experience they get.
And we can rate them better. It was a great opportunity to see her play in front of us and we seized the opportunity.
"It's important to see the two players playing to give good clues, but in the future that does not mean we will continue to do so." Mount is expected to be fit after a minor foot injury.
In the meantime, Zola has identified a bit of Lampard in the "incredible" Ross Barkley.
Mount struggles with an injury to his foot, but is expected to recover in time
Barkley had been exceptional last month with three goals and three assists in his last three appearances at Chelsea and Zola, while stifling some recent comparisons.
"I thought Frank Lampard was exceptional in the pits," Zola said. "The best midfielder I've ever seen had the quality to be in the box at the right moment, so he scored so many goals.
"Ross likes to play more with the ball to get involved in the action, and what I've seen in the last two or three weeks is that the scoring ability really matters.
"At first it did not show that, because he was very involved in tactically learning what the team expected of him, and now he gets that freedom, and both have incredible potential.
Ross Barkley has achieved a brilliant form for Chelsea after a long run in the team