Frank Lampard has been appointed the new Chelsea manager, completing an emotional return to Stamford Bridge.
The Blues legend has now put pen to paper on a thrthree-year deal become Maurizio Sarri’s successor at the west London club, ending the wait for one of the worst kept secrets in English football to be confirmed. ‘I am immensely proud to be returning to Chelsea as head coach,’ Lampard said after the news was confirmed on Thursday morning.
LAMPARD AT CHELSEA
Trophies: 3x Premier League, 1x Champions League, 1x Europa League, 4x FA Cup, 2x League Cup
‘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.’ ‘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,’ Chelsea chief Marina Granovskaia added. ‘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.’ Shortly after Lampard put pen to paper on the three-year-contract, Chelsea posted a video on Twitter showing the 41-year-old walking around the Stamford Bridge pitch. ‘I’m delighted to be back,’ he told the camera. ‘I have so many great memories at this place.
The new role starts here, I cannot wait to get started. See you soon.’ Lampard will hold his first press conference as Chelsea boss at 2 pm on Thursday when he will be formally unveiled to the awaiting media. But earlier on Thursday, he gave an interview to the club’s in-house media channel, in which he committed to using the club’s rich talent pool of young players.
‘What (fans) can expect from me is a young manager who is going to give everything, every hour in the day that I can, to work hard, to bring a team that the fans can be proud of.
‘This is a competitive club, it always has been in the modern era, and I want to remain competitive. ‘I want to try and help with the younger players try and get them into the squad and see players because I know fans really relate to players that come through the academy and feel the club and I will work hard to try and bring success to the club.’
The Blues affirmed their intention to discuss their vacant manager’s job with Lampard after making an official approach to Derby last Tuesday, while on Monday the Championship club excused their manager from the first two days of pre-season training in order for their manager to conclude his move to London. And those formal discussions have been brought to a successful conclusion with all the finer details of Lampard’s return now finalised. Chelsea have paid an initial compensation package worth in the region of £4million to secure Lampard’s return. The former Blues midfielder was happy at Derby – and he was prepared to take training on Monday and Tuesday before the club excused him from duty. But the emotional pull of returning to Stamford Bridge, where he enjoyed huge success, was simply too big to resist.
Following his appointment, the well-wishes came flooding in. Former Chelsea striker Didier Drogba said on Instagram: ‘good luck, proud to see you coming back home @franklampard’ Ex-England striker Gary Lineker, meanwhile, tweeted: ‘Congratulations to Frank Lampard with his appointment at @ChelseaFC. Lack of experience won’t be an issue. If you’ve got it, you’ve got it, and I suspect Frank has it. Wish him well.’