Frank Lampard has returned to Chelsea, the club who he represented as a player for 13 seasons. The official announcement was made on Thursday after week-long discussions since being released by Derby County to communicate with the London-based club. With the conclusion of final formalities, Lampard replaces Maurizio Sarri in the dugout for the Blues.
Lampard has signed a three-year contract with Chelsea. "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," said the club's record goalscorer.
The former England player was pictured arriving back at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday to sign the contract believed to be worth around £4m a season and to conduct interviews with in-house media.
Derby County, the Championship club whom Lampard took to the play-off final in his solitary campaign, are understood to have received in excess of £4m in compensation. Lampard will be joined in south-west London by his assistant, Jody Morris, and fitness coach, Chris Jones.
As per reports in the English media, Lampard will be given assurances from the owner, Roman Abramovich, that he will be given time to make a proper mark back at the club with Chelsea currently operating under a transfer embargo which will potentially extend through to the summer of 2020.
That will restrict the club’s ambitions in the market. However, before the ban, they have secured the services of Christian Pulisic and Mateo Kovacic while losing Eden Hazard to Real Madrid. Multiple players out on loan have returned to London though Lampard has already expressed an eagerness to tap into the potential of the club’s youth-team set-up to bolster his options. His appointment comes days after contract extensions for Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Callum Hudson-Odoi.
'He belongs to the Blues.' 💙
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) July 4, 2019
Lampard's first game in charge will be Wednesday’s friendly against Bohemians at Dalymount Park, before a second fixture against St Patrick’s Athletic three days later.
A much-improved squad will then travel to Japan for subsequent games against Kawasaki Frontale and Barcelona before the end of the month. His first Premier League game in charge will be at Manchester United before Chelsea, as Europa League winners, compete in the European Super Cup against Liverpool in Istanbul.
Legend at Chelsea, Lampard made 648 appearances for the club behind only Ron Harris, Peter Bonetti and John Terry while scoring 211 goals.
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Updated Date: Jul 04, 2019 14:10:18 IST