The winners and losers of Frank Lampard’s Chelsea return
Chelsea Football Club has made headlines with the shock announcement of Frank Lampard’s return to Stamford Bridge as an interim manager.
While the fanbase is rejoicing the return of the club legend, some players are looking on with concern.
The team that Lampard left behind in 2021 is vastly different from the current one he inherits. Prominent players such as Tammy Abraham and Jorginho have moved on, and Chelsea has spent heavily in the transfer market, adding to their bloated ranks.
Mason Mount is the clear winner of Lampard’s return. The young academy graduate enjoyed a breakout campaign under Lampard in 2019-20, establishing himself as a first-team regular.
However, things have not gone as planned for Mount this season. Although he still has nine goal contributions in all competitions, his form has reflected his team’s overall struggles.
The England international has become a scapegoat for the team’s poor performance, with uncertainty surrounding his future as he prepares to enter the final year of his contract.
However, Lampard’s return coincides with Mount’s comeback from injury, and this could give him the fresh impetus he needs to rediscover his form.
On the other hand, Kepa Arrizabalaga is undoubtedly the loser of Lampard’s return. Lampard sought an alternative for the struggling Spaniard back in 2020, eventually replacing him with Edouard Mendy, who went on to help the Blues win the 2021 Champions League under Lampard’s successor, Thomas Tuchel.
Kepa regained his starting place under predecessor Graham Potter earlier this season, keeping 12 clean sheets in 29 appearances despite some lapses in concentration.
However, he will undoubtedly be looking over his shoulder now that Mendy is fit again and Lampard is back in charge.
Overall, Lampard’s return to Chelsea is set to make for compelling viewing. While some players are undoubtedly looking over their shoulders, others may benefit from his return.
It remains to be seen what impact Lampard will have on Chelsea’s fortunes, but his appointment is sure to reinvigorate the fanbase and make for an exciting end to the Premier League season.