Chelsea news: 'Frank Lampard can be Chelsea's Pep Guardiola' - Manchester United legend Ferdinand
What's the story?
Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand believes Chelsea icon Frank Lampard would be the perfect man to replace Maurizio Sarri as the Blues' manager, especially when one considers the transfer ban the club is currently facing.
In case you didn't know
Lampard has emerged as one of the prime candidates to take over the reins at Stamford Bridge, as Juventus is reportedly preparing to announce the appointment of Sarri as their new boss. The Italian is set to leave the west London outfit after only a year, having guided the side to the Europa League title and a third-place finish in the Premier League.
Ajax's Erik ten Hag and former Bianconeri boss Massimiliano Allegri have also been heavily linked with the job but both managers hold concerns over the transfer ban that is in place at the club.
Lampard started his managerial career with Championship club Derby County last season, guiding the side to the Championship play-off final, a feat that is impressive for a first-time manager. The Rams, however, missed out on a place in the Premier League after losing 2-1 to Aston Villa at Wembley.
The heart of the matter
Speaking to Mirror Football, Ferdinand said, "He is the perfect choice. I will actually be surprised if they look elsewhere."
"They have tried with all these great managers. No disrespect to Allegri, he’s done unbelievable things at Juventus, but they have had Carlo Ancelotti, they have had [Antonio] Conte, Sarri, [Jose] Mourinho: all managers who have done great things - and never stuck with them."
"So are you going to continue doing that, and keep blowing money away with these managers who you have to pay up after two years? Or are you gonna go with someone who the fans are going to love to have back?"
The former Manchester United defender believes the commitment that Lampard and his assistant, Jody Morris, share regarding the development of young players will prove to be an asset considering the transfer ban the club is currently facing.
"If Chelsea are going to get a ban transfer-wise, I don’t think they can look anywhere but Frank if I am honest. He and Jody know all the kids from 16 upwards. They know what they can all do."
"Chelsea have had the best young kids in the country for a while now – Manchester City are coming around that but for a good few years Chelsea have had the best kids and none of them get in the first team. As a football club, you would think they would like to change that."
"If they want to change that, there is no one but Frank. He is someone who their young players are going to look at every day and say, ‘Wow! Frank is gonna play us. He played [Chelsea loanee] Mason Mount at Derby every game when he was fit, he played [Liverpool loanee Harry] Wilson every game he was fit. He trusts kids. His first season, under mad pressure at Derby, he played all the kids. He is gonna do that with us!'"
Ferdinand further defended Lampard over critics who worry about the former Chelsea star's managerial experience, citing Pep Guardiola's time at Barcelona as an example.
"People talk about experience and what-not but what experience did Pep have when he went into Barcelona's first team? He trained the younger kids at the club."
"Would he [Lampard] wilt under the pressure when big players throw a wobbly in training? I don’t think he would. Frank knows Chelsea, he knows the players and the players will respect him."
Lampard is believed to have already held talks with his former club but it remains to be seen how this transfer saga will pan out in the days to come.