Frank Lampard has been appointed Chelsea’s new manager, the Premier League club have confirmed.
The Blues legend takes his place in the Stamford Bridge dugout as successor to Maurizio Sarri, who left Chelsea earlier this month to become Juventus head coach after just a single season in west London.
Lampard, who played 648 times for Chelsea across a wildly successful 13 year spell, has put pen to paper on a three-year deal with the Blues after they were granted permission by Derby to open official talks with their former midfielder.
He leaves Derby after guiding them to the Championship play-off final in his first ever season in football management.
Lampard worked with Chelsea’s underage sides while studying for his coaching badges, and was offered the opportunity of a second-tier job for his debut position.
The Rams ended up losing the play-off final as Aston Villa secured a return to the Premier League instead, though Lampard’s work at Pride Park was lauded as he had Derby playing an entertaining brand of football that got them to within one win of the top flight.
He leaves Derby with 24 wins from 57 matches, for a win ratio of 42.1 per cent.
Lampard arrives at Chelsea with the club in the midst of a two-window transfer ban and having just sold star player Eden Hazard to Real Madrid.
He said: “I am immensely proud to be returning 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.”
Marina Granovskaia added: “It gives us great pleasure to welcome Frank back to Chelsea as head coach.
“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 is joined in the Stamford Bridge dugout by another former Chelsea midfielder, Jody Morris, who was his assistant at Derby. Fitness coach Chris Jones also links up with the Blues, Derby confirmed in a statement.
Eddie Newton, who was Roberto Di Matteo’s assistant when Chelsea won the Champions League in 2012, will be promoted to Lampard’s coaching staff having been in charge of the club’s loan players, while Claude Makelele is expected to succeed Newton in this role alongside recently appointed technical adviser Petr Cech.