English Premier League Sport

‘Lampard can be Chelsea’s answer to Guardiola’, says Rio Ferdinand

Former England and Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand believes Frank Lampard can be Chelsea’s answer to Pep Guardiola.

Ferdinand has described the former Blues midfielder, currently in charge at Championship club Derby County, as the “perfect” candidate for the Stamford Bridge hot seat.

As Goal revealed on Tuesday, Lampard is in the frame to take over from outgoing boss Maurizio Sarri, and has already held talks with Chelsea bosses about making an emotional return to west London.

Former Juventus manager Max Allegri is also believed to be in the running after leading the Turin giants to their fifth Serie A title in a row last season, but Ferdinand has insisted his former England team-mate is the only logical appointment.

“He is a perfect choice,” he told The Mirror. “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 Conte, Sarri, 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 going to go with someone who the fans are going to love to have back?”

A transfer ban that could potentially cover the next two windows currently hangs over Chelsea, but Ferdinand claims this could work into the club’s hands – if they give the top job to the right candidate.

And if there are those displaying signs of nerves in the Blues’ boardroom due to Lampard’s lack of top-flight experience as a manager, he points to the job carried out by Guardiola, who also had just a year of coaching under his belt before he took the reigns at Barcelona in 2008.

“If Chelsea are going to get a ban transfer-wise, I don’t think they can look anywhere but Frank if I am honest,” said Ferdinand.

“Chelsea have had the best young kids in the country for a while now – Manchester City are coming around to 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 invigorates not only the first team and the fans but the kids coming through. At a time when managers are scared and under pressure not to play kids, I think it will be refreshing.

“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 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.”

Source: Goal

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