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Super Frank is home.
Lampard, 41, has only had one year in management since retiring in 2016 but the 2018-19 campaign was pretty successful as he led Derby County to the playoff final on a shoestring budget, where they lost 2-1 to Aston Villa to narrowly miss out on promotion to the Premier League.
Speaking about his return to the club where he spent 13 years, winning every trophy possible and becoming Chelsea’s all-time leading goalscorer, Lampard was understandably chuffed.
“I am immensely proud to be returning to Chelsea as head coach,” Lampard said. “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.”
Lampard has a huge job on his hands to cement Chelsea’s place in the top four of the Premier League, as well as make a deep run back in the UEFA Champions League this season.
With a transfer ban for the next two windows currently in place pending their appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), it looks like Lampard will not have any new players to work with until the summer of 2020.
Plus, with Eden Hazard sold to Real Madrid over the summer, Chelsea have lost their superstar who dragged them through games and won them trophies over the past seven years.
Lampard’s main aim will be to develop the young stars Chelsea have in abundance but have been loaned out in huge numbers recent years. With the transfer ban in place and Lampard having worked with a handful of these youngsters while they were on loan to him at Derby last season, he and his coaching staff (which includes former Chelsea U18 head coach Jody Morris) know all about these young stars.
And when you look at the players who are still at Chelsea, plus the arrival of Christian Pulisic, Lampard has plenty of top quality internationals to work with, but he will need time, at least two seasons, to turn Chelsea into title contenders again. Let’s see if his status as one of the greatest players in Chelsea’s history grants him a bit of extra slack from their notoriously ruthless owner Roman Abramovich.
Even though it may be extremely tough to finish above Liverpool or Manchester City this season, going toe-to-toe with Tottenham, Arsenal and Man United for third and fourth place is very doable.
A legend has returned to the bridge and it seems like Lampard will get the time he deserves to guide Chelsea through a tumultuous 12-month period coming up.