Chelsea have appointed club legend and all-time top scorer Frank Lampard as their new head coach.
Lampard was identified as the preferred choice to succeed Maurizio Sarri at Stamford Bridge despite having only one year of managerial experience at Derby, who he led to the Championship playoff final but lost to Aston Villa.
“I am immensely proud to be returning to Chelsea as head coach,” Lampard said. “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.”
Chelsea director 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.”
Sarri left to join Juventus after just one season at Chelsea which ended with a top-three finish in the Premier League, victory over London rivals Arsenal in the Europa League final and a loss on penalties to Manchester City in the Carabao Cup final.
Lampard, 40, becomes the first Englishman, and the 11th man overall, to be appointed as a permanent Chelsea manager by owner Roman Abramovich.
He will be accompanied by Jody Morris, who spent four years coaching at Chelsea’s academy before leaving to become Lampard’s assistant at Derby in 2018.
Lampard’s return will be hugely popular with Chelsea supporters. He won 11 major trophies in 13 years at Stamford Bridge, including three Premier League titles and the Champions League. He is the club’s all-time top scorer with 211 goals.