Didier Drogba has backed former Chelsea teammate Frank Lampard to succeed Maurizio Sarri if he steps down as manager this summer.
Sarri, 60, took over at Stamford Bridge a year ago ending a three-year Napoli stay but has been heavily linked with a return to Serie A by joining Italian champions Juventus.
Will Frank Lampard be the next Chelsea manager? Five things to know…
- Chelsea have reportedly agreed to let Sarri join Juventus.
- Frank Lampard, Massimiliano Allegri, Jose Mourinho, Nuno Espírito Santo, Steve Holland and Javi Gracia have all been linked with the soon-to-be vacant role.
- Lampard, Chelsea’s all-time top-scorer, has just finished his first season as a first-team manager at Derby County.
- There, he narrowly missed out on Premier League promotion while guiding the Rams to a play-off final.
- It is elsewhere claimed he met with Chelsea earlier this week to discuss replacing Sarri.
His first campaign, marred by fan disgruntlement, ended with the Blues finishing third in the Premier League and Europa League triumph, beating Arsenal in the final.
The lowest point was their League Cup final defeat against Manchester City when goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga seemingly undermined his authority by refusing to be substituted.
At different intervals of his debut campaign Sarri looked on the brink of being let go. However, following the issue of a looming transfer ban many observers felt he was safe. However, according to reports Juventus have reached an agreement in principle with Chelsea for his signature.
On this day in 2001…
Frank Lampard became a Blue! ? pic.twitter.com/ssmlONsoAt
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) June 14, 2019
If this comes to pass then it becomes a question of who takes over the reins. One name that popped up is former Juve boss Massimiliano Allegri, but the chances of him being appointed became slim when he announced an intention of taking a year-long sabbatical.
“I will take a year out because I have to reclaim my private life. These last 16 years have felt like being in a centrifuge,” he said.
“I have let family matters get away from me… my children and my friends. This year will let me recharge with a view to coming back for the following campaign.”
As far as club legend Drogba is concerned it should be current Derby County boss – and Chelsea record goalscorer – Lampard who’s a year into his managerial career.
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“I think it is a very good option for the club. He has done well with Derby, taking the team to the play-off final,” he said.
And the former Blues marksman is not worried about his relative inexperience, adding: “So he is never going to be ready, then? Does he have to wait until he is 50 to be ready?
“I think it depends on your experience and depends on your desire to succeed and do it. If he feels ready I don’t think it is too early.”
Lampard’s first year in management
After hanging up his boots in 2017, following an illustrious 22-year playing career, Lampard moved into coaching and was appointed manager of Championship side Derby County in May 2018 signing a three-year contract.
He’d end his first season by finishing sixth in the table with 20 wins from 46 played, qualifying for the Championship play-offs. The Rams would stunningly reach the final at the expense of Leeds United.
After losing 1-0 at home they’d leave Elland Road with a 4-2 victory, leading to incredible celebratory scenes, but their dreams of a Premier League return was ended by Aston Villa in the final – Dean Smith’s men winning 2-1 at Wembley.