Chelsea have taken the bold decision to replace the outgoing Maurizio Sarri with their former midfielder Frank Lampard.
Lampard is a Chelsea legend on the field, racking up 648 appearances across all competitions, with 211 goals. He lifted the Champions League trophy, the Europa League and three Premier League titles during his spell at Stamford Bridge.
He’s now looking to recreate that success from the dugout, but he takes over a side quite different to the one he left, with the Blues facing a season of change. They lifted the Europa League last season, as well as finishing third in the Premier League, but that’s far from the starting point it seems to be. Lampard will be expected to make changes that will challenge for the title and play a style of football that appeals to the club’s supporters. Despite Chelsea being the 9th most financially powerful club in the world, Lampard will also have to content with the transfer ban which will limit his choices.
Here are five things Frank Lampard will need to address as he faces his first season as a Premier League manager.
Replacing Eden Hazard
An article by bwin Football on who will finish in the top 4 in the Premier League suggests that Chelsea can overcome the blow of losing their talisman Eden Hazard this season, but if they’re going to do so they’ll need to find a suitable replacement.
They’re not able to simply dip into the transfer market to bring in new players, not with the transfer ban looming over them this summer.
They’re unable to bring in fresh faces for the next two transfer windows, meaning a replacement must be found from within.
The Blues do have a huge number of players to choose from, with as many as 40 out on loan last season, but whether they can find an adequate alternative to the Belgian is another question entirely.
Make use of youth
Given the transfer ban, Lampard is going to have to have a good look at some of the younger players in the squad.
Several of their youth prospects were out on loan last summer, Trevor Chalobah impressed at Ipswich and Dujon Sterling was equally as eye-catching at Coventry.
Then there is Mason Mount, the attacking midfielder Lampard himself enjoyed the benefit of at Derby.
He’s going to have to fully explore that vein of talent as his only possible way of improving the first team this campaign.
Work with the transfer ban
We’ve already mentioned the transfer ban, but what worse time could a new manager find to join the club?
As per a news report from Sky Sports, the club are set to appeal the ban which could give Lampard some room to work in the market. After all, with the fee they received for Eden Hazard, which according to The Guardian is around £88m, he could have some funds to spend if the transfer ban gets lifted.
Right now, that isn’t the case and if the appeal is unsuccessful, Lampard will be looking to improve on a strong season without the benefit of new faces.
Replace backroom staff
Despite last season’s successes, Lampard will have to bring his own team in as much as possible. He’s already brought Jody Morris with him, another former Blues’ player who oversaw their academy until leaving for Derby County.
Morris told Football 365 that he felt many managers ignored Chelsea’s youth players in the past and as part of Lampard’s team he can address that, but the change of emphasis will need a change of personnel.
The old regime may have lifted a trophy, but there could be concerns over divisions behind the scenes if Lampard didn’t bring in his own men.
Promote Tammy Abraham
The one player Lampard will have seen first hand last season was Tammy Abraham, the Chelsea striker who joined Aston Villa on loan.
Talksport believes that Lampard’s appointment is great news for Tammy Abraham, and so it should be. The 21-year-old scored 25 goals in 37 outings for Villa last season, including one in a 4-0 destruction of Derby County.