Rio Ferdinand: Lampard can be Chelsea's Pep Guardiola

Manchester United legend and television pundit Rio Ferdinand adjourns that former teammate Frank Lampard is perfect for the managerial job at Chelsea, believes that he is Chelsea's Pep Guardiola.

Rio Ferdinand says Lampard can be Chelsea's Pep Guardiola
The current Derby County boss and Blues legend has spoken to the current Europa League champions, who are on the search for a replacement for the outgoing Maurizio Sarri, and is interested in a return.

And Rio Ferdinand has said of old teammate Lampard: “He is the perfect choice.”

Chelsea want a replacement for Sarri as he is to be announced at Juve this week.

Lampard only has one season of management under his belt, and that was in England's second tier, but Ferdinand added again: “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 [Antonio] Conte, Sarri, [Jose] 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 gonna go with someone who the fans are going to love to have back?”

With a two-window transfer ban looming, this will mean that more reliance has to be headed towards the young players. And this makes Ferdinand believe the Chelsea board must surely hand the job to his former club and country colleague.

“If Chelsea are going to get a ban transfer-wise, I don’t think they can look anywhere but Frank if I am honest,” he said. “He and Jody 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 – Manchester City are coming around 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 played [Chelsea loanee] Mason Mount at Derby every game when he was fit, he played [Liverpool loanee Harry] Wilson every game he was fit. He trusts kids. His first season under mad pressure at Derby he played all the kids. He is gonna do that with us!’

“So 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.”

While critics and some in Stamford Bridge are concerned by Lampard’s managerial ‘L’ plates, Ferdinand points to Guardiola — who’d had just a year of coaching before taking over as head coach of mighty Barcelona in 2008.

The former Barca and Spain midfielder had been in charge of Barcelona ‘B’, steering their second string to first place in the Tercera Division Grupo 5 — part of the fourth tier of Spanish football — before succeeding Frank Rijkaard as first-team boss.

Lampard steered an ailing Derby side to the brink of promotion to the Premier League at his first time of asking, losing 2-1 in the play-off final to Aston Villa.

Ferdinand added: “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 he [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.”

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