Chelsea boss Frank Lampard defends controversial Carney Chukwuemeka decision
Chelsea man Carney Chukwuemeka has only started twice since December.
Frank Lampard has defended Chelsea's decision not to allow Carney Chukwuemeka to join the England Under-20 squad for the World Cup in Argentina.
The 19-year-old is one of two players from the club to have been withheld from manager Ian Foster's selection, with midfielder Lewis Hall also told he must stay for the remainder of the season.
Hall started as Chelsea drew with Nottingham Forest last weekend and Lampard has indicated he will play a part in his side's remaining three matches, but Chukwuemeka has started only twice since December and has not been in the matchday squad for any of the last eight games.
Lampard said that owing to injuries the club deemed it necessary to keep the former Aston Villa player, who arrived at Stamford Bridge in a £20million deal last summer, available for the remainder of the season.
"He's a Chelsea player and we've got injuries in that area," said Lampard. "The situation with Carney is that he's come into a club, it was a big move for him, and this season he hasn't managed to get so many minutes. He's settling in at a new club.
"Hopefully there's opportunity in these three games for him and also he's our player, and whilst we have lost players we need him to stay.
"There's a possibility he can join up at the end of the season if the team gets through to the next stages. That might be the best of the both worlds in an ideal way.
"But he's our player and we had to make the decision. Carney was keen to go, but at the same time what happened meant he had to stay."