Frank LampardEmbed from Getty Images
Since Thomas Tuchel replaced Frank Lampard at Chelsea, he has moved the club into the top four and reached two big finals; given that Lampard left them in eighth, and given this sharp improvement, it is easy to forget what a good manager the former Chelsea midfielder really is.
In his very first season as a manager, he took Derby to the play-off final, beating Marco Bielsa’s Leeds in the process; in his first season as Chelsea manager, he managed a top-four finish, despite managing under the duress of a transfer ban. He undoubtedly struggled to mold Chelsea’s big-name signings this season – yet, this can be put down to sheer inexperience at the highest level.
In that first season at Chelsea, Lampard’s most impressive attribute was arguably his ability to weave in a number of young talents into an ageing squad. For every Olivier Giroud, there was a Tammy Abraham; for every Ngolo Kante, there was a Billy Gilmour; for every Jorginho, there was a Mason Mount; for every Cesar Azpilicueta, there was a Reece James.
This ability to engage with young players within an older squad is a skill perfectly applicable to the current West Brom squad. It is full to the brim with younger, English talent such as Grady Diangana, Callum Robinson and Darnell Furlong, whilst still retaining age and authority through the likes of Kyle Bartley, Conor Townsend and Jake Livermore.
Combine this skill with his success at Derby, then Lampard certainly makes sense. The board is likely to know this and the players likely would too. It is easy to forget that Lampard is a legend of the game; the players would be extremely excited at the prospect of working under him. Even Matheus Pereira, Albion’s star-man seemingly destined to leave this summer, could be tempted to stay with Lampard’s name.
Lampard has been linked to the Crystal Palace job, with former Baggies man Roy Hodgson retiring, and so a move back to the Championship is unlikely to be his first choice. If he would make the leap, though, then so should we.