Chelsea FC have appointed Frank Lampard as their new manager as the club legend makes a sensational return to Stamford Bridge.
The former Derby County boss took care of the final details on his return as a manager after six hours of late night meetings at Stamford Bridge.
The Blues legend spent just one season in charge of Derby County, guiding them to the Championship play-off final, but did enough in his maiden campaign as a manager to convince his former club that he is the man to succeed Maurizio Sarri.
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) July 4, 2019
The 41-year-old said:
I am immensely proud to be returning to Chelsea as head coach. Everyone knows my love for this club and the history we have shared, however, my sole focus is on the job in hand and preparing for the season ahead. I am here to work hard, bring further success to the club and I cannot wait to get started.’
Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia (pictured above right) added: ‘It gives us great pleasure to welcome Frank back to Chelsea as head coach. Frank possesses fantastic knowledge and understanding of the club and last season, he demonstrated he is one of the most talented young coaches in the game.
‘After 13 years with us as a player, where he became a club legend and our record goalscorer, we believe this is the perfect time for him to return and are delighted he has done so. We will do everything we can to ensure he has all the support required to be a huge success.’
Sky Sports have speculated that the length of the talks were due to Lampard seeking assurances about owner Roman Abramovich’s expectations of the upcoming campaign and Chelsea’s plans once the transfer embargo on the club imposed by FIFA expires.
One of the key changes expected to take place at the club under Lampard’s tutelage is to allow the club’s academy stars to train with the first team, all while reshuffling the schedule for youth coaching in order for him to watch as many sessions as possible.
The move is in stark contrast to that of previous boss Sarri, who did not attend a single academy session or watch any Under-23 game in his one season at the helm.
Chelsea have paid the Championship club £4million in compensation, with coaching staff Jody Morris, Chris Jones and Shay Given also following Lampard to west London.
Lampard’s appointment comes after his former team-mate Petr Cech was confirmed as the club’s new technical and performance advisor following his retirement from football, while Claude Makelele (below) is expected to join the coaching staff.
Lampard learned from some of the best managers in the history of the sport during his trophy-laden 13 years at Chelsea when he blazed a trail. Only Ron Harris, Peter Bonetti and John Terry played more than his 648 games and Lampard famously leads our all-time scoring chart with 211 goals. His goal touch allied with all-round quality and fantastic stamina helped change the way football views the modern central midfield player.
Lampard’s dedication to improvement, versatility and reading of the game was exemplary, and those assets bode well as he begins life in charge of an elite Premier League club he knows inside out.
Not surprisingly Lampard has a fantastic relationship with the Chelsea supporters, who voted him their Player of the Year three times and who have sung his name regularly since he left in 2014. Everyone at the club is excited to see him patrolling the Stamford Bridge touchlines and leading the quest for more silverware.