Chelsea coach Luiz Felipe Scolari must decide whether to bring Didier Drogba back in from the cold for Saturday's visit of Stoke.
Drogba's future at Stamford Bridge was at the centre of more speculation after Scolari axed him from the squad that went on to beat Southend 4-1 in their FA Cup third-round replay on Wednesday night.
But England midfielder and team mate Frank Lampard wants the Ivorian to stay and fight for his place: "Hopefully he will remain a massive part of this club because he's definitely one of, if not the best, strikers in the world."
Lampard added: "Didier is a very big personality and player at this club and he will take it in the right way, I'm sure.
"It's the manager's prerogative to leave players out. Every manager I've played under, and I've played under some top managers, has the right to drop someone, put them on the bench, rest them, whatever."
Assistant first-team coach Ray Wilkins insisted Drogba was still a 'valuable member' of the set-up on Thursday.
Drogba was made to train with the reserves on Wednesday and feels he is being made a scapegoat following his poor performance in their 3-0 mauling by Manchester United in the Barclays Premier League last Sunday.
But despite Scolari's get-tough policy with the striker, Lampard hopes Drogba will react in a positive way.
"Any time at any club there will be some players at the top of their game and some that aren't," he said.
"The manager didn't pick on anyone individually. He was just explaining how it's been. We're not here to pick out certain individuals, we've all had our patches where we've not played at our best."
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