When the draw was made sources told ESPN FC that Chelsea would not make an exception to their standard policy of not allowing loan players to be eligible against them, but last week the club changed course and announced that they had provided the necessary "written consent" for the pair to play for Derby.
Lampard had indicated that he would like to select Mount and Tomori for the game at Stamford Bridge, and revealed after Chelsea's announcement that talks between the clubs had been ongoing since the draw.
But speaking in a news conference, Zola -- who was detailed to analyse Chelsea's loan players last summer and is a big admirer of Mount -- insisted that Lampard's status at his former club was not significant in the Blues' decision.
"No, it's not only that," he said, before clarifying further. "I can tell you it's not that. It is because we believe at the end of the day, what is important for us is that Mason and Tomori grow up as players. We believe that by playing against us [it] is an opportunity for them to grow up quicker.
"The more they play against Premier League teams the more experience they get. And we can make better evaluations on them. It was a great o
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