Ex-Chelsea defender Ricardo Carvalho has admitted that Frank Lampard is building a team that can fight for the Premier League title next season after end his debut campaign as boss at Stamford Bridge with fourth placed in the table.
The Blues have turned to a club legend to take the club forward following Maurizio Sarri’s decision to join Juventus last summer, having seen prove his managerial credentials in the Championship side Derby Count.
Frank Lampard inherited a squad which had just secured third in the Premier League and a Europa League crown, with a final victory over Arsenal in Baku ensuring the 2019-20 campaign ended on a high.
However, the Stamford Bridge outfit were hampered by a FIFA-imposed transfer ban which prevented them from signing a replacement for Eden Hazard, whose seven-year stay in west London came to a close when he joined Real Madrid for £90million.
Frank Lampard managed to compensate for the loss of a talismanic performer by bringing through a number of academy stars, including Tammy Abraham, Mason Mount and Reece James, all of whom had spent the previous year out on loan.
Chelsea ended up finishing fourth in the top-flight table, which ensured that Frank Lampard’s first season was ultimately deemed a success despite a painful FA Cup final defeat to Arsenal and a Champions League exit at the hands of Bayern Munich.
The 42-year-old has also been able to add two high-profile players to his squad this year after seeing the club’s transfer ban lifted, with Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner snapped up from Ajax and RB Leipzig respectively.
Ricardo Carvalho believes that injection of extra quality will help the Blues challenge Liverpool and Manchester City for domestic glory next term, and has praised Frank Lampard for maximising the output of the group following Hazard’s departure.
‘Given he lost Eden Hazard, so far he’s done very well,’ the former Chelsea centre-back told the Daily Mail.
‘He achieved a Champions League place for nextseason which of course is very important, and has brought in young, talented players.
‘Frank is building a very good team and I expect next year he can fight for the title with those players, for sure.’