Frank Lampard told the Chelsea boys that they must impress him now if they want to join the first team this season.
The Blues are in Japan for friendlies against J-League champions Kawasaki Frontale and Barcelona in the next seven days, before kicking off the campaign with matches against Manchester United and Liverpool in the Premier League and European Super Cup, respectively.
Lampard's return to Chelsea as a coach came with the club still adapting to the sale of Eden Hazard to Real Madrid and facing a two-year ban on transferring FIFA, which are challenging the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
The 41-year-old promised to give young people a chance, but said that Jamie Cumming, Fikayo Tomori, Mason Mount, Kasey Palmer and Tammy Abraham, all of whom are in Japan, must prove they are worthy of taking the step up.
"Everyone knows I have a keen eye for the younger players in the academy," Lampard said. "We have a group of them struggling to join the first team.
"To be absolutely clear, now they have to make a difference: it is a road that is given to them and now they must be the ones that play well enough to join the team.
"I don't care about age, I care about performance and the way people train and play. Now with the team it's up to those players to show what they can do.
"A club like Chelsea always wants to improve in the transfer market, but the transfer ban is here, so it's probably a waste of my time thinking too much about what could have been. I work to have absolute confidence in the players.
"If it's a blessing in disguise it's the fact that we don't have a stressful start to August with the transfer window," he added.
Lampard said he was pleased that the England Under-21 midfielder had accepted a new five-year contract, but added that Wales international Ethan Ampadu was not in Japan because he could be loaned this season.
Meanwhile, Olivier Giroud has warned Lampard that he cannot afford a period of adjustment after joining Derby County.
"You always need more time in football, of course, but it's about being competitive right away, especially at Chelsea, which is a huge club and wants to play for the title every year," said the France striker .
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