While a sentimental return to the club where he spent 13 trophy-laden years as a player may represent his ‘dream job’, the Blues’ record goalscorer must solve several problems if he is to avoid the fate of the previous ten managers to take charge during the Roman Abramovich era.
As everyone knows, this is a club with a notoriously impatient hierarchy and equally fickle fans.
And while it was impressive to steer Derby to the Championship play-off final in his sole season as a manager, the fact the Rams recorded one point less under the Englishman than in the previous season often goes unnoticed.
So, what must Lampard do to ensure he has a successful debut season in west London? talkSPORT.com has identified five problems he must solve ahead of the 2019/20 campaign.
LATEST FOOTBALL NEWS
The transfer ban
Most newly-appointed Premier League managers can expect to be given a healthy sum of cash to formulate their own squad upon arrival at a club, but Lampard can’t – and this is perhaps the biggest challenge he faces.
The 41-year-old has no choice but to utilise the cards he has been dealt in the hope of improving on the Blues’ third place finish last season.
And whilst Chelsea’s top six rivals strengthen with numerous high-quality players, Lampard must make crucial use of his side’s pre-season campaign and establish his best XI quickly.
There will be one fresh face arriving this summer, however, and the fact that he will be only new addition to the squad will come with added pressure.
Christian Pulisic was signed in January and just like any new signing the highly-rated youngster will bring an air of excitement to Stamford Bridge.
But the American remains the only new addition at Lampard’s disposal, and the new Blues chief must therefore have to get the best from the squad he has inherited, rather than improved, in the forthcoming campaign.
Making do without Eden Hazard
The Belgian has been Chelsea’s talisman in recent seasons and apart from N’Golo Kante, he was arguably the club’s only world-class player.
Since arriving in the Premier League from Lille in 2012, no player in the division created more chances than the Belgian.
And last season was Hazard’s best campaign to date, finishing with 16 goals and 15 assists – topping the goal creation charts in Europe’s top five leagues.
Lampard therefore has the daunting challenge of trying to squeeze that little bit extra from every member of the squad.
Experienced stars such as Willian, Pedro and Olivier Giroud must improve on their goal tallies next season to compensate for Hazard’s absence, while other midfielders will need to pop up with more goals – because that simply didn’t happen enough last term.
Utilising the youth
One thing Chelsea fans can be genuinely excited about following Lampard’s arrival is the use of youth.
The Stamford Bridge faithful have been crying out for a manager to play the youth for years now, with all three of Maurizio Sarri, Antonio Conte and Jose Mourinho notoriously reluctant to give the youngsters a chance.
Many regard Chelsea’s academy as the best in England – and Lampard’s arrival could spark the start of a bright new era for the club.
The ‘loan army’ scattered across Europe last season was littered with star performers.
Reece James, who won Wigan’s player of the season award, dazzled at right-back, and other positions too, in an otherwise disappointing campaign for the Latics.
While Lampard also knows he has the likes of Mason Mount and Fikayo Tomori already in his ranks, with both players impressing under his leadership in the Championship.
Now is finally the time for a Chelsea manager to take a risk on the youth – and with the transfer ban imminent and Jody Morris by his side, Lampard looks primed to do just that.
Lampard’s appointment is unquestionably one of the biggest gambles of Abramovich’s tenure to date.
For all Lampard’s success as a player, management is a completely different ball game and big names in the game such as Gary Neville and Thierry Henry found this out the hard way.
Yes, Lampard was impressive with Derby in the Championship, but there is a monumental difference between the quality of football in England’s second tier and competing in the Champions League.
Sometimes, however, great players do make great managers and Pep Guardiola and Zinedine Zidane serve as evidence for that.
The importance of Morris’ role at the club cannot be understated. He was Lampard’s no.2 at Derby and also enjoyed brilliant success with Chelsea’s Under-17s and will need to help his mate every step of the way.
The pair of them, as well as the rest of the backroom staff, will need to learn to adapt their ways at times of trouble, but also stick true to their philosophy when needed, particularly in such a high-pressure job at Chelsea.
Convince Abramovich to return
Abramovich has not been a visible presence at Stamford Bridge over the last two seasons and without it being evidently damaging, all fingers point to it having a negative effect on the club.
During the troublesome times under Sarri last season, such as the Italian’s touchline disagreement with Kepa or the poor patches of form, there seemed to be a sense of incohesion between the club and its fans and it formed a grey cloud over the club.
Abramovich attended the end-of-season charity game in Boston and the Europa League final in Baku – but his box at Stamford Bridge empty more often than not these days.
Lampard is one of a few who enjoy a direct line to the oligarch and, given he is able to visit on a tourist visa, he should try and convince the owner to make the trip to west London more often.
After all, with Lampard and Petr Cech back, a return of Abramovich will only add to the sense that some of Chelsea’s soul is being brought back to the fray.