Last Updated: 26/06/19 5:36pm
John Terry insists there is “no one better equipped” to take over at Chelsea than Frank Lampard and believes the timing is perfect for him to return to the club.
Derby revealed on Tuesday that they had granted Chelsea permission to speak to Lampard about replacing Maurizio Sarri at Stamford Bridge and Sky sources understand that the Blues are prepared to pay the £4m compensation clause in the 41-year-old’s contract.
Terry, who played alongside Lampard at Chelsea for 14 years, believes Blues fans will have no hesitation in welcoming him back to west London, despite having just one full season in management, and says he will be just as demanding on himself as owner Roman Abramovich.
“After the season he has had with Derby and with Chelsea’s transfer ban in place, there is no one better equipped than Frank to succeed at Chelsea. It is perfect timing for him and the club,” Terry told the Daily Mail.
“Frank was under pressure to succeed at Chelsea the day he arrived from West Ham and he never hid from that. He revelled in it and went on to become Chelsea’s greatest-ever player. I don’t believe there will be any trepidation from supporters. They love him. Lamps is a legend and now is the right time for him to come home.
“Roman is a successful businessman because he is so demanding but Frank will demand nothing less from himself. He [Lampard] would welcome that responsibility to make Chelsea more competitive and provide the stability the club has probably been lacking.”
Terry believes Lampard and Jody Morris, who would be expected to follow Chelsea’s all-time top goalscorer back to the club, will help youngsters such as Callum Hudson-Odoi thrive and says the pair’s knowledge of the Blues’ youth set-up should lead to opportunities for academy players.
“He has the tactical knowledge, enthusiasm and will have the backing of the players and fans to prove what he can do,” Terry said. “You could see by the improvements made by Mason Mount at Derby last season that Frank will have an impact on young players and improve them.
“For some time, perhaps only myself and Ruben Loftus-Cheek had come through the academy to become regulars and that has probably left many young players questioning their future. Callum Hudson-Odoi will be assured he has a big role to play at Chelsea.
“Having Frank in charge and the transfer ban will give young players throughout the academy belief that there is a genuine pathway into Chelsea’s first team.”
Despite Chelsea losing Eden Hazard to Real Madrid this summer, Terry believes Lampard will still inherit a gifted squad and he is looking forward to his own return to Stamford Bridge in his role as Aston Villa assistant.
“December 4!’ he said. “It was the first fixture I looked for when they came out. I was already excited enough about going back to the Bridge.”