The news that Frank Lampard is going to take over as Chelsea’s next manager is probably the worst kept secret in football at the moment, but it begs the question if his return will elevate his already legendary status at the club, or tarnish his legacy by plunging the club into further crisis. It is safe to say that The Blues aren’t expected to pull up any trees in the upcoming campaign, but this could end up to be the perfect backdrop for his return in the long run.
Chelsea are notorious for managerial turnovers, but since their new man is already deeply rooted in the history of the club, this should give Lampard much more time to achieve success than his predecessors. As a result, he will be able to bring through the youth and develop them to suit his system.
Players like Fikayo Tomori who Lampard worked with last year at Derby; Calum Hudson-Odoi after his return from injury and Hazard replacement, Christian Pulisic will have to work extremely hard to get to the level that Blues fans demand from their players. Considering the Derby team that started the Play-Off Final included 5 players under the age of 23, Lampard has good experience with youth, which can only benefit the Chelsea team next season. With the transfer ban, these youngsters will become even more crucial to the club’s future.
The transfer ban may also be a welcome relief to Lampard. Most managers who move up to a higher level have a poor track record with high budget transfers, so having at least 6 months to identify weaknesses in the squad and possible replacements will alleviate some of the worries normally associated with taking such a high-profile job. So having this time to take greater care with transfers and also developing the future of the club simultaneously, by playing them regularly in the league, can only be a benefit to the club for the following season.
However, Chelsea fans may need to take a different approach to their support for next season. Success has been ingrained in the club since Abramovich became owner in 2003 but with the departure of their star man and an unproven replacement, they may have to scale back their expectations for the upcoming campaign. Boos from the terraces next season will only have a negative impact on Lampard and his squad. But one of the most credible candidates to instigate change in the Chelsea fan base would be Frank Lampard. So providing his reputation gives him enough breathing room to cut his teeth as a Premier League manager, Lampard definitely has the potential to bring back success to Stamford Bridge.
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