Despite signing a three-year contract with Chelsea last summer, current Blues manager Maurizio Sarri is looking more and more likely to depart Stamford Bridge in the coming weeks.
It is expected he will return to his native Italy to take over from Max Allegri as Juventus boss.
It has been a turbulent season for Sarri as he has fallen foul of the Chelsea crowd, had on-pitch arguments with his players and been accused of being tactically incapable due to his refusal to deviate from his “Sarri-ball” approach.
Given all this, Sarri still guided his team to third in the league, made two major finals both home and abroad and lifted the Europa League trophy.
Chelsea looked in disarray in February and there were heavy calls to sack Sarri after a 6-0 thrashing by Man City. Chelsea resisted and stood by their manager. If he does depart it would actually be the first time under Roman Abramovich’s tenure that Chelsea lose a manager against their will.
If the search is to begin for Chelsea’s 12th manager under Abramovich the name that seems to be head and shoulders above the rest is club legend and all-time leading scorer Frank Lampard.
Although he only has one season under his belt as a manager, Lampard is currently 4/19 with GIVEMEBET to be the next Chelsea manager.
He led his Derby team to the playoff finals after finishing 6th and engineered a cup shock at Old Trafford, beating his old enemies Man Utd and former mentor Jose Mourinho in the Carabao Cup.
One of Lampard’s successes at Derby last season was to master the art of loaning players and getting the best out of young, under-utilised Premier League talent. Mason Mount (on loan from Chelsea) and Harry Wilson (on loan from Liverpool) both thrived under Lampard and he drew praise from his contemporaries, as Jurgen Klopp commented on Wilson’s development:
"He found a brilliant club and obviously a fantastic manager at Derby. They play really good football. The Manchester United game really was impressive – not only the result, the way they played was really impressive."
Lampard’s Derby team favored good attacking football, and predominately played a 4-3-3 system and he outlined his philosophy by saying:
‘In terms of style of play, I want to play good football. We want to try to play. We have been one of the teams in the Championship this season who try to play. We try to move the ball through the pitch, rather than being too direct, that’s not my style.
Lampard’s desire to play attractive football is highlighted by Derby averaging 455 passes per match last season, the fifth-highest total in the Championship, while their 69 goals in the regular season was the seventh-most.
What can Lampard expect if he goes back to Stamford Bridge? The obvious problem is replacing Eden Hazard who is perhaps the only player that comes close to Lampard when naming the Chelsea’s greatest player of the Premier League era. Losing that kind of talent is a huge blow, one that is further compounded by the fact that Chelsea may not be able to sign any replacements due to their transfer ban.
One issue with Lampard’s relative lack of experience is that he hasn’t had to overcome a tricky spell during his time in the dugout, how he would cope on the back of a poor run of fixtures remains to be seen.
There is no doubt he would be afforded more time and freedom than any Chelsea manager under Abramovich as he is an extraordinarily popular man at Stamford Bridge. So if there is a turn of poor form under Lampard it is likely the players on the pitch will receive the supporters wrath more so than the manager.
There are huge question marks over Lampard’s readiness for such a role, but there is no doubt that it would be an extremely popular appointment.