Chelsea have announced Thursday the appointment of Frank Lampard as their manager, as owner Roman Abramovich turned to a fan favourite rather than an experienced hand to replace Maurizio Sarri and lead the club into a new era.
Lampard, adored by Chelsea fans as the heart and soul of the club's midfield during a trophy-laden 13 years at Stamford Bridge, was handed a three-year contract having left second tier Derby County.
"I am immensely proud to be returning to Chelsea as head coach," Lampard told the club website here.
"Everyoneknows my love for this club and the history we have shared, however, my solefocus is on the job in hand and preparing for the season ahead.
"I am hereto work hard, bring further success to the club and I cannot wait to getstarted."
A relative rookie as a manager, the 41-year-old Lampard earned plaudits for taking Derby into the Championship playoff final in his first year in the dugout — even if they just missed out on promotion to the Premier League.
Derby said an undisclosed compensation package had been agreed with Chelsea and wished Lampard well.