Thursday, 04 July 2019 16:16

Frank Lampard appointed Chelsea manager as club legend returns to Stamford Bridge

Chelsea have appointed Frank Lampard as their new manager as the club legend makes a sensational return to Stamford Bridge.

Lampard, the club's all-time top goalscorer, has signed a three-year deal to succeed Maurizio Sarri.

The 41-year-old had been the frontrunner for the job since it became clear Sarri would return to Italy after just one year to take over at Juventus, despite having just one year as a manager under his belt.

In a statement released by the club, Lampard said he was 'immensely proud' to return 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 (above) added: "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 guided Derby County to a sixth-place finish, and subsequently the play-off final, which matched Gary Rowett's final campaign in charge with one fewer point one.

A formal approach to Derby was made in late June, though Standard Sport understands talks had been held with Lampard on more than one occasion beforehand.

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.

The former England international made 640 appearances for Chelsea during his 13 years at the club, winning three Premier League titles, the Champions League, four FA Cups, two League Cups and the Europa League.

Lampard offered his thanks to Derby owner Mel Morris, the players, staff and fans in a post on his Instagram page.

"I would like to say a special thank you to Mel Morris, players, staff and everyone who is associated with Derby County Football Club. It has been a fantastic experience for me and I feel privileged to have managed such a prestigious club. Most of all, I want to thank the fans who supported me and the team from the day I arrived in the City. I wish everyone the best of luck going forward."

Lampard's first two competitive matches in charge will be the Premier League opener away to Manchester United on August 11, and the Uefa Super Cup Final clash with the Liverpool in Instanbul three days later.

Evening Standard

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