Frank Lampard transfer prediction made that will excite Chelsea fans – but there’s a catch

Lampard oversaw his first game with the Blues last night as a mix-and-match side drew 1-1 with Irish outfit Bohemians in Dublin after a last-gasp equaliser for the hosts.

The former Chelsea midfielder signed a three-year deal to return to Stamford Bridge, where he spent 13 as a player, earlier this month to succeed Maurizio Sarri.

But with a two-window transfer ban and Eden Hazard having joined Real Madrid, Lampard faces a unique challenge going into his first campaign.

The 41-year-old only has one season’s experience of management, too, having been in charge with Derby County, who he took to the Championship play-off final before losing to Aston Villa.

Under Russian owner Roman Abramovich, Chelsea have become renowned for their ruthless hire-and-fire nature having even sacked three-time Premier League-winning tactician Jose Mourinho twice.

But former Chelsea winger Pat Nevin, who is now a prominent pundit, thinks there is plenty of reasons to be positive for Lampard’s long-term future because of the money that will be available to him in the summer of 2020, when the club’s FIFA-imposed transfer embargo is lifted. 

Yet Nevin has warned that the Chelsea hierarchy have to sympathise with the difficulties facing Lampard in his first season and should have “quite low” expectations despite winning the Europa League and finishing third in the Premier League last term.

And he insists that unless they are in danger of relegation, Chelsea must stick with Lampard for a second season.

To some degree, he is going to have a monster war chest in a year’s time

Pat Nevin

“Surely the club understands this is the worst time now in probably two decades to take over at Chelsea Football Club,” Nevin told Irish outlet Off The Ball.

“You’ve lost your best player that half of everything was built around last season in Hazard, you can’t actually buy anybody else at the moment and that [the FIFA ban] looks like it might stick.

“You’re going to have to change the system completely from one that was a very specific system last season. You’ve not got a natural goalscorer in the team. They’re slightly ageing but the defence is quite good.

“All those things and then look at your competition, Manchester City aren’t hanging back they’ve gone and got Rodri, Liverpool aren’t going to hang back, Spurs aren’t hanging back.

“They’re all going to be throwing the money at it, they’re all going to be better. Chelsea, you’ve got to think they’re not going to be as good because they’ve not got Hazard anymore.

“All those things stuck together, it’s a tough one. But I refuse to get caught up in, ‘Because a famous footballer is loved by a club, it’s going to work.’ It honestly makes little to no difference in the long term, it’s whether you’re a good manager, that’s what it comes down to.

“But Frank’s a really clever guy, great knowledge of the game. He took his time [taking the job], really thought about it, probably tried to get all the assurances that he could. 

“He’s going to get minimum two years because it’s a big ask to get top four this season coming. I didn’t think they’d get it last season. Liverpool are miles ahead, Man City are miles ahead, so you’re in that fight again.

“However if you do do that, have a look at the coffers. The money that’s being made, [Alvaro] Morata’s just gone, a huge sum of money for Hazard as well and you’ve got Champions League this season.

“To some degree, he is going to have a monster war chest in a year’s time. He’s got an entire year to look, to check, to see everything around him.

“So if he’s given that year – as long as they don’t get relegated! – and he goes into the season after this one, he’s got a fair to meddling chance. 

“This season I wouldn’t say is a write-off but the expectation must, if they’ve any sense at all, be quite low.”

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