Chelsea have officially unveiled Frank Lampard as their new head coach, with the former Derby County manager signing a three-year contract at Stamford Bridge.
The former England international spent 13 seasons playing for the Blues, racking up an incredible 211 goals in 648 appearances from midfield. After a year-long spell at rivals Manchester City, Lampard enjoyed two seasons in the MLS with the Sky Blues’ sister-club New York City, before taking charge of the Rams in 2018.
A firm fan favourite at the Bridge, the 41-year-old replaces outgoing boss Maurizio Sarri, who has taken up the vacant Juventus job following a turbulent debut campaign in the Chelsea dugout.
“I am immensely proud to be returning to Chelsea as head coach,” Lampard told the Chelsea website. “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 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.”
Lampard leaves a Derby side facing the prospect of a 12th straight season in the Championship, having lost the 2019 playoff final 2-1 to Aston Villa.ChelseaVSArsenalHow well do you know them?
Though the Champions League winner was unable to secure the club’s long-awaited promotion back to the Premier League, he received considerable praise for adapting the Rams’ style of play and showing faith in youth.
In contrasting fashion, Sarri irked Chelsea supporters with his refusal to hand younger players a chance, the Italians’ handling of Callum Hudson-Odoi particularly annoying the fanbase.
Lampard is likely to have no choice but to field academy prospects, as the Europa League champions have been placed under a transfer embargo by FIFA until start of the 2020 summer window.
That should see more patience given to the new Blues boss, as should his popularity amongst supporters, handing Lampard a luxury that escapes most Chelsea coaches.
He will have time to mould the team and tweak it, unlike his predecessors, with owner Roman Abramovich renowned for his trigger-happy approach to sacking managers.