Speaking after Derby County’s loss in the Championship promotion playoff final, Rams chairman and owner Mel Morris was already fully cognizant of the potential situation facing him and his club’s chosen manager, Frank Lampard.
“One day he is going to be [back] at Chelsea, I am sure, because of the legend he was there. The longer he is here with success, the easier it is to go there without risk because Chelsea is a big club with massive expectations.
”I would always be pleased we gave him the opportunity, proud of what he has achieved with us, and if that happened sooner rather than later I would just hope it works out for him. There would be absolutely no ill feeling and we’d understand it’s probably an opportunity he couldn’t turn down.”
-Mel Morris; May 27, 2019
Chelsea had not yet won the Europa League at that point and Maurizio Sarri had not yet submitted his request to leave, but rumors were already swirling and Morris was under no illusions of where they might eventually lead. He had hoped that Lampard would want to stay — and Frank himself, in the immediate wake of that finals disappointment, defiantly flew the Rams flag high, as any good professional would — but the temptation of Chelsea will surely prove too much to turn down.
It’s meant to be, after all.
It’s no surprise that given those quotes, the Mail’s reporting tonight that Derby “will not stand in Lampard’s way when Chelsea offer him the manager’s job”, and that probably includes the same for assistant manager Jody Morris and assistant coach Chris Jones as well.
Derby will not stand in Frank Lampard's way when Chelsea offer him manager's job... and host of legends including Didier Drogba and Claude Makelele could join him at the Bridge https://t.co/1JcLSURcYH— MailOnline Sport (@MailSport) June 14, 2019
Derby will of course insist on compensation, just as Chelsea insisted on compensation from Juventus. At worst, those fees will cancel each other out (£4m each?) making this a net-neutral transaction for Chelsea, but probably a net-positive in the good vibes department.
The more intriguing part of the Mail’s report is their suggestion that Didier Drogba could be in line for a proper role with the club as well — he’s currently an ambassador for Chelsea, which has mostly entailed promotional appearances for Yokohama. Coincidentally, Drogba, alongside multiple Chelsea legends including Aston Villa assistant John Terry, Chelsea youth coach Joe Cole, and Indonesian football superstar Michael Essien will be playing in this Sunday’s Soccer Aid at Stamford Bridge. Perhaps Didier can just stick around afterwards!
Meanwhile, there’s been increased speculation that Claude Makélélé stepping down from his manager role at KAS Eupen yesterday isn’t coincidence either.
While it probably is, right now, any and every former Chelsea player of note can be reasonably linked with a return in some capacity to the club. And Makélélé had already served as assistant to both Carlo Ancelotti (PSG) and Paul Clement (Swansea City), even!
We’re getting the entire band back together, haven’t you heard??