Rio Ferdinand believes Frank Lampard can be Chelsea’s answer to Pep Guardiola as Maurizio Sarri reportedly nears a move to Juventus.
Chelsea head coach Sarri is poised to sign a three-year deal to replace Massimiliano Allegri at Serie A champions Juve, according to reports. Former Chelsea midfielder Lampard has emerged as one of the favourites to take over if Sarri leaves after almost guiding Derby County to the Premier League via the Championship play-off in his first season at the helm.
Ex-Manchester United defender Ferdinand — who played alongside Lampard with England — likened the 40-year-old to Manchester City manager Guardiola prior to the Spaniard being appointed Barcelona boss in 2008.
“He is the perfect choice,” Ferdinand said. “People talk about experience and what-not but what experience did Pep [Guardiola] have when he went into Barcelona’s first team? He trained the younger kids at the club.
“Frank knows the club and he knows the players and the players will respect him. You can see he can carry himself in a particular way in front of the media and in the football club and he can change things within a season.
“If Chelsea are going to get a ban transfer-wise I don’t think they can look anywhere but Frank if I’m honest. Because he and Jody [Morris, Derby assistant manager] they 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 – Man City are coming around that but for the good years they 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.”
Lampard won three Premier League titles, the Champions League and four FA Cup trophies among other silverware during his time at Chelsea. He is also Chelsea’s all-time leading scorer with 211 goals across all competitions, including 147 in the Premier League, after joining from West Ham in 2001.