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Three ways Chelsea could line up under Frank Lampard

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Frank Lampard impressed in his first managerial role
Frank Lampard enjoyed a successful season in charge of Derby County (Picture: Getty)

Maurizio Sarri is edging closer to joining Juventus from Chelsea in a move that will pave the way for Frank Lampards return to Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea are waiting on Juventus to stump up a £5m compensation package to take Sarri to Turin and once that deal has been completed they will turn their attention to appointing Lampard as his successor, with the Derby County boss the leading candidate for the role.

Lampard enjoyed a promising debut campaign in management, narrowly missing out on promotion to the Premier League as Derby were beaten 2-1 by Aston Villa in the play-off final and is now on the cusp of being given one of the biggest jobs in English football.

Should Lampard become the 13th manager of the Roman Abramovich era, he will inherit a Europa League winning squad that also finished third in the Premier League, although it has since been shorn of Eden Hazard following his blockbuster move to Real Madrid.

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Unlike his various predecessors, however, Lampards dream management job comes with the rather large caveat that he will be unable to sign any players during his first year in the job with Chelsea forbidden by FIFA from buying anyone. Consequently, the club will have to turn to their academy to beef up the first-team squad.

That factor has potentially helped Lampards case to be appointed, though, as his work with a youthful Derby side caught the eye last season. Lampards right-hand man Jody Morris, meanwhile, knows Chelseas academy inside out having coached their U21s and U18s prior to his move to Pride Park last summer.

Assuming Chelseas transfer ban remains in place, here are three ways Lampards team could look next season.

1. First-choice 4-3-3

How Chelsea could line up in Lampard's favoured 4-3-3
How Chelsea could line up in Lampards favoured 4-3-3

It is rare in the era of the super-coach that a manager will stick rigidly to one system throughout a season, but that was a feature of Sarris campaign at Chelsea with the side set out in a 4-3-3 in every single one of his 63 competitive matches in charge.

Lampard isnt quite as wedded to 4-3-3 as Sarri is, but it was comfortably his most used tactic at Derby. Key to Derbys system was the attacking movement of the central midfielders, wingers cutting infield from their designated flanks and full-backs flooding forward to provide width.

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Mason Mount was an important cog for Derby last season, playing as the most advanced central midfielder of the three and tasked with getting into the penalty area to score goals, just as Lampard did throughout his professional career. He ended the campaign with nine goals from 38 appearances.

Given his reputation as one of Chelseas best young players and his history of working alongside Lampard, Mount has been tipped to become one of the main beneficiaries of his appointment and a place in the starting XI may not be out of the question with Ruben Loftus-Cheek sidelined and Mateo Kovacics future undecided.

Mount returns to Chelsea after a successful loan at Derby
Mason Mount was an integral part of Lampards Derby side (Picture: Getty)

Another returning loanee who might stake a claim for first-team football is Tammy Abraham off the back of a 26-goal season with Aston Villa. Lampard predominantly used strikers who could stretch opposition defences such as Jack Marriot and Mason Bennett last season and Abraham is better-suited to that role than Olivier Giroud.

Callum Hudson-Odoi, pencilled in for a return from his Achilles injury in September, is expected to play a prominent role this season following Hazards departure and both he and Christian Pulisic are versatile wide forwards, equally comfortable working in the half-spaces infield as out on the touchline, as Lampard expects of his wingers.

Finally, a new manager could see the return of NGolo Kante as a defensive midfielder. Sarri was frequently criticised for his deployment of the Frenchman in a box-to-box role throughout the season in order to accommodate Jorginho as a tempo-setter, but Lampard may prefer Kantes ball-winning qualities there instead.

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2. Plan B 4-2-3-1

Derby County's Plan B option was a 4-2-3-1 last season
Derby Countys Plan B option was a 4-2-3-1 last season

I dont like to try and put myself into one style of play. I think it is important to be adaptable in terms of systems, Lampard told Goal during a wide-ranging interview in March.

Although Lampard predominantly used a 4-3-3 system last season, he also reverted to a 4-2-3-1 frequently with Derby using their Plan B on 19 separate occasions in the Championship. In reality, the change in system didnt alter too much with Mount effectively shuttling 20-yards higher up the pitch.

Nevertheless, Lampard was able to provide a more solid midfield base when he used this formation, accompanying a ball-playing midfielder – either Craig Bryson or Tom Huddlestone – alongside the more combative Bradley Johnson in a two-man midfield.

Jorginho and Kante could play as a double pivot
Lampard could favour a Jorginho and NGolo Kante partnership in midfield (Picture: Getty)

A 4-2-3-1 formation at Chelsea would give Lampard the opportunity to experiment with a Kante-Jorginho double pivot. In theory, it could be an extremely effective partnership, combining Jorginhos resourceful pasRead More – Source