Olivier Giroud Reveals First Impressions of Chelsea ‘Legend’ Frank Lampard

Olivier Giroud has backed Frank Lampard as the right person to be in charge at Chelsea, claiming the whole squad is excited for the new season. 

Lampard signed a three-year deal this summer to replace the departing Maurizio Sarri as the Blues’ manager after the Italian left Stamford Bridge to join Serie A champions Juventus. 

Despite finishing third and winning the Europa League, Sarri struggled to win over the Chelsea faithful, with his tactics coming in for criticism.

Frank Lampard

Lampard, on the other hand, is a ​Chelsea legend, having finished his career as the club’s all-time top goalscorer, winning 13 trophies during his 13-year spell at Stamford Bridge. 

Prior to his appointment at Stamford Bridge, Lampard guided ​Derby County to the Championship playoff final last season, finishing sixth and beating ​Leeds over two legs before losing to ​Aston Villa 2-1, in what was an impressive debut managerial tenure. 

Having already experienced the first few training sessions under the new boss, World Cup winner ​Giroud explained how things have started under Lampard

He said – speaking to (Radio 5 Live Sports Extra): ”I like his energy and desire to always improve and win. We’ve been training very hard with high intensity.” 

Eden Hazard,Olivier Giroud

Chelsea have been banned from making new signings for the next two transfer windows by FIFA, following investigations into their purchases of foreign Under-18 players. Although the club are protesting at the Court of Arbitration of Sport, preparations for the upcoming season have to consider no changes to the current squad. 

Therefore, Chelsea academy players may play a big role in their season, a situation which, according to Giroud, Lampard can manage. 

The Frenchman added: ”I think he is the right person. He is basically a Chelsea legend.

”We all believe in his quality to improve the team and with the transfer ban it’s a good opportunity for the young players to show what they can do. Now we’re excited to play the first league game.”

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8 Premier League Defenders Who Are Better Than Harry Maguire

​Harry Maguire’s imminent move to Manchester United isn’t really surprising. He’s a good defender, but is he worth the £80m which is being suggested? Not even close.

That fee would make him the most expensive defender of all time – a title which should be reserved for one of the world’s finest defenders. Yet, Maguire isn’t even the finest in the Premier League.

Here are eight Premier League defenders who deserve to be the world’s most expensive defender more than Maguire.


Virgil van Dijk

Virgil van Dijk

An obvious one here. Virgil van Dijk has enjoyed a lengthy spell as the world’s most expensive defender following his £75m move to ​Liverpool, and he rewarded the Reds with performances that justified his price tag.

The Dutchman is an incredible defender, capable of winning tackles and reading play before attackers even know what they are going to do. He led by example at Anfield, steering the Reds to ​Champions League glory.

He made Liverpool infinitely better than they were before his arrival, and that’s the kind of impact you want to see from the world’s most expensive defender.​


Aymeric Laporte

FBL-ENG-PR-CRYSTAL PALACE-MAN CITY

Aymeric Laporte’s £57m move to ​Manchester City made him one of the most expensive defenders in history, yet it still looks like Pep Guardiola got himself a bargain.

The 25-year-old boasts the kind of playmaking skills that make him vital to the modern game, whilst his agility, strength and defensive awareness make him almost the complete package. There is simply nothing Laporte can’t do.

His 18 months in the ​Premier League have been nothing short of outstanding, and he is comfortably one of the finest in the world.


John Stones

John Stones

​​Maguire often keeps City’s ​John Stones out of the England squad, but that does not necessarily mean he’s a better defender.

Stones has blossomed into a versatile weapon under Guardiola. He has always been comfortable with the ball at his feet, but his decision making has improved greatly. Not only does he know when to pick a pass, but he can now see where he needs to be on the pitch at all times. He can break up attacks with ease, before sending City flying down the other end of the pitch.

He has been a vital part of City’s success since his move to the Etihad Stadium back in 2016, and the good times will keep on rolling with Stones at the back.


Toby Alderweireld

Toby Alderweireld

The transfer market has inflated hugely since ​Toby Alderweireld’s £11.5m move to ​Tottenham Hotspur in 2015, but his quality has remained constant. 

He has long been one of the Premier League’s top performers​. His influence at the heart of Mauricio Pochettino’s defence cannot be overstated, as he allows the rest of Spurs’ attack-minded stars to flourish.

Alderweireld has attracted interest from some of Europe’s biggest sides, and it’s not hard to see why – he is simply a phenomenal defender.


Jan Vertonghen

Jan Vertonghen

One of Alderweireld’s partners in the heart of Belgium and Spurs’ defence, Jan Vertonghen has proven he’s one of the best defenders in the Premier League.

At the age of 32 he’s seen and done it all, with the necessary experience to adjust his style according to the opposition. In defence he’s a proven tackler with a 76% success rate, and is known to be one of the better passers from the back line, helping to feed the ball quickly to Tottenham’s attackers.

Always reliable at the back, Vertonghen is calm and composed at both ends of the pitch, able to pitch in with the odd goal or assist when called upon. Compared to Maguire it’s a case of potential versus proven effectiveness, and Vertonghen comes out on top.


Antonio Rudiger

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When ​Antonio Rudiger is on top form, there are few around who can compete with him.

The German brings raw athleticism to ​Chelsea’s defence, whilst his ability with the ball at his feet also makes him a valuable part of the team going forward.​ He can kick-start attacks with ease, and the fact that he can recover possession just as easily always helps.

He’s far from perfect, but that can be said about Maguire too. If you compare the two, Rudiger surely has to come out on top.


David Luiz

David Luiz

If ​David Luiz can shake the inconsistency which has plagued his career, he could comfortably be one of the world’s top defenders. However, even with those moments of madness, he still deserves his place as one of the best in England.

His playmaking abilities are about as good as you can get from a defender. His through-balls from deep are almost unstoppable, as opposing defenders simply do not know how to deal with the threat. 

Defensively, he has improved greatly. He can win challenges both in the air and on the ground, but his value is certainly at the other end of the pitch.​


Issa Diop

Issa Diop

​West Ham United star Issa Diop is an utter machine. Blessed with the kind of physicality and athleticism which most can only dream of, the 22-year-old knows exactly how to use that to his advantage.

He can win almost any challenge in the air, which many would say is one of Maguire’s finer attributes as well, but his game on the ground is just as impressive. Tackling comes easily to Diop, and so is motivating those around him.

If and when he does leave the Hammers, expect Diop to be up there with some of the world’s most expensive. He’s really that good.​

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Transfer Rumours: Arsenal Respond to Tottenham Hijacking, Otamendi Eyes Valencia Return & More

Whilst most clubs have now begun their pre-season campaigns, it still doesn’t quite do enough to fill the footballing void. But fear not, as we have rumours galore to get you through the tought times ahead.

There’s plenty to whet your appetite as the two north London clubs continue their transfer window rivalry, while Newcastle are set to make their first signing of the summer.

Check out all of today’s gossip below.


Otamendi Wants to Return to Valencia

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​​Manchester City’s defensive warrior Nicolas Otamendi is keen for a return to his former club Valencia and is happy to reject potential moves elsewhere in order to facilitate the move.

As reported by ​​Super Deporte, the Argentine favours a return to Valencia – the club he left in 2015, and a family member of the defender has told the Spanish publication that he “wants his children to grow up” in the Spanish city.

The deal itself will be a difficult one for the ​La Liga side to pull off, but such is Otamendi’s desire to make it happen, they remain hopeful of luring him back.


Premier League Big Boys Chase CSKA Moscow Star

Fyodor Chalov,Zoran Nizic

​Fedor Chalov has attracted interest from a host of ​Premier League and other European clubs following the 21-year-old’s fantastic season in the Russian Premier League in 2018/19.

​The Mirror report that ​Arsenal, ​Manchester United, ​Liverpool and ​Tottenham will compete with a host of major European clubs for the attacker’s signature this summer, after he scored 15 goals in 30 games last season.

Chalov was the league’s top scorer last year and is already being touted as the future of Russian football. In a stellar Europeancampaign, the forward grabbed widespread attention with goals against Arsenal and ​Real Madrid.


Daniel Sturridge Offered Serie A Opportunity

Daniel Sturridge

​Daniel Sturridge struggled for regular first-team football at Liverpool under Jurgen Klopp and the Reds’ refusal to offer him a new contract did not come as a huge surprise.

With his career currently in limbo, the ​Daily Express have reported that Sturridge has been offered a lifeline by ​Serie A side Bologna, who are looking to recruit the former ​Chelsea man on a free.

However, one sticking point with this deal would be the Englishman’s wage demands, as he was believed to be earning around £120,000-a-week with the Merseysiders. Given the injury problems suffered by the striker in recent seasons, he may struggle to get a similar deal anywhere else.


Burnley Prepare Moves for Genk Duo

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Not the busiest club so far in this summer transfer window, but ​Burnley looks set to make a double-swoop for Genk right-back Joakim Maehle and midfielder Ruslan Malinovskyi.

As reported by ​The Sun, manager Sean Dyche is being pushed to sign Maehle by his scouts, who have returned from Belgium with glowing reviews of the young Dane.

His Ukranian teammate is also the subject of interest from the Clarets, with rumours suggesting they are lining up a £19m move for the pair. 


Newcastle Close in on Former Chelsea Youngster

Kyle Scott

​While the ​Magpies’ search for a manager continues, they are wasting no time in recruiting players, as they look set to complete a deal for out-of-contract Chelsea youngster Kyle Scott.

The English-born midfielder has represented the USA at international youth level, but failed to make the breakthrough at Stamford Bridge after just one first-team appearance.

However, Scott remains highly rated within the game and ​Football Insider report that he will sign a three-year deal with Newcastle within the next 48 hours.


West Ham Line Up Bid for Brentford’s Neal Maupay

Neal Maupay

​​West Ham are targeting a move for Brentford striker Neal Maupay, as their search for a striker to replace Marko Arnautovic continues.

Following failed attempts to bring Maxi Gomez, Salomon Rondon and Callum Wilson to the London Stadium, ​Football Insider report that the Hammers are now targeting Maupay, who scored 28 goals in all competitions last season.

The east London side have been told they will need to bid in excess of £15m, as they look to fight off competition from ​Aston Villa, ​Sheffield United and ​Brighton.


Palace and Brighton Show Interest in Leeds’ Roofe

Kemar Roofe

 They have built up a rivalry on the pitch and now ​Crystal Palace and ​Brighton look set to compete off the pitch, as they both show an interest in Leeds United man Kemar Roofe.

The striker has just one year left on his deal at Elland Road, and ​Sky Sports report that the two Premier League sides head a queue of clubs interested in the ​Leeds man, who bagged 15 goals last season.

The 26-year-old has also been in talks to extend his deal at the Yorkshire club, but with the prospect of a move to the top-flight, Leeds may struggle to convince Roofe to stay.


Arsenal Looking to Hijack Spurs’ Pursuit of Nicolo Zaniolo

Nicolo Zaniolo

​Following reports that Arsenal were set to complete a move for Saint-Etienne’s Saliba, north London rivals Tottenham came in with a bid at the last minute and now look set to hijack the deal.

In response, Unai Emery is looking to give Spurs a taste of their own medicine, as the Gunners prepare to compete with their rivals for the signing of Nicolo Zaniolo, who has also been linked with a move to ​Juventus.

The ​Daily Express report that Arsenal are prepared to match any offer on the table for the Roma midfielder, as they look to boost their options in the centre of the park following the loss of Aaron Ramsey to Juve.

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Billy Gilmour: 7 Things to Know About the Chelsea Wonderkid Impressing in Pre-Season

Frank Lampard was given his first taste of managing Chelsea during the Blues’ pre-season tour of Ireland. He gave plenty of young players the chance to impress, but none caught the eye quite like 18-year-old Billy Gilmour.

The midfielder, who joined from Rangers for a fee of around £500,000 back in 2017, put in two seriously impressive performances against Bohemians and St Patrick’s Athletic. It was his first showing for the senior Blues, but fans around the world will have taken notice.

Here are seven things to know about the latest Chelsea starlet.


He’s No Stranger to Playing Above His Age Group

Billy Gilmour

An 18-year-old playing against seniors is impressive enough but, for Gilmour, it’s just another day in the office.

When he turned 15, he was promoted to Rangers’ Under-20 side, but was soon fast-tracked to the first team after his talent became clear. He featured in provisional matchday squads for Rangers, whilst he has also been a regular feature for Scotland’s Under-21s.

Even at ​Chelsea, Gilmour has plenty of experience in the Under-23 setup, so playing against senior players is nothing new to him.


He Attracted Interest From Europe’s Elite


With a 15-year-old Gilmour on the cusp of senior football back in 2016, many of the elite sides around Europe took notice. 

Think of any top side around the world, and chances are they were interested in Gilmour. ​Manchester United, ​Manchester City, ​Real Madrid and ​Barcelona were all eager to win the race for his signature, but a trip to Chelsea’s Cobham training complex ultimately won him over.

If he keeps up this development, it would come as no surprise to see those sides reignite their interest.​


He Is a Creative Machine

Billy Gilmour

Onto his play style, Gilmour is the kind of midfielder that managers adore. Comfortable anywhere in midfield, Gilmour’s primary mission is to get on the ball, whether that means dropping deep or pushing forward.

One of the most impressive things about the teenager is his composure. He is almost impossible to fluster, and he uses his technical ability to pick out passes all across the pitch.

Similar to Andres Iniesta, Gilmour wants to dictate the tempo of a game, but he is not satisfied with just passing the ball. He wants to be part of every phase of play, and he’s certainly good enough to do so.


He Still Loves a Tackle

Billy Gilmour,Callum Cooke

These slender, creative midfielders often shirk the physical side of the game, but that cannot be said for Gilmour.

Whilst he’s no ​N’Golo Kante, the diminutive Scot is not afraid to put his body on the line to recover possession, such is his desire to have the ball at his feet.

His temper can get the best of him at times – he has picked up red cards playing for both Chelsea and Rangers’ youth sides in the past – but it is nothing to worry about at this stage. He will give his all for his team, which can only be a good thing.


Frank Lampard Sees a Bright Future for Him

Frank Lampard

His impressive performances this summer have not gone unnoticed, with manager Frank Lampard taking time to specifically praise Gilmour for his impact on the side.

Lampard told ​Chelsea TV just how impressed he had been with Gilmour, hinting at a potential role in the team for the teenager by expressing his desire to see Gilmour maintain this level of performances for the remainder of the season.

The quality of opposition will certainly improve as the year goes on, but all the signs suggest that he is capable of rising to the challenge.


He’s Certainly Ambitious


Breaking through at Chelsea has proven to be too difficult for countless youngsters in the past, but Gilmour has the kind of ambition and drive that a young player needs to make it at the top level.

He told ​BBC Sport that he only has one goal in football, and that is to become the best player in the world.

It is clear by his actions on the pitch that Gilmour is not satisfied with simply winning games. He wants to dominate opponents and do things that fans can hardly believe, which will help him stand out at Stamford Bridge.


He Prefers Frank Lampard Over Steven Gerrard

Liverpools Steven Gerrard (L) vies for t...

It’s like an unwritten rule in England. Anyone involved in football must decide who was the better midfielder – Steven Gerrard or Frank Lampard. For Chelsea fans, Gilmour chose the right answer.

In the same BBC Sport interview, he wasted little time to choose Lampard as his favourite player, and this was well before Lampard was even close to stepping into the dugout at Stamford Bridge.

He now has the chance to work alongside Lampard, who will undoubtedly be able to pass on some of his vast football knowledge. For Gilmour, the future is incredibly bright.

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David Luiz Calls on Chelsea Youngsters to ‘Step Up’ & Fight for Place in Starting Lineup

​David Luiz has praised the quality of Chelsea’s young players, but insisted that they must fight for a place in Frank Lampard’s starting lineup.

The Blues are well-known for their failure to feature academy graduates but, with the likes of Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Mason Mount and Callum Hudson-Odoi all expected to feature heavily under Lampard, fans are hoping to see a changing of the guards at Stamford Bridge.


Speaking after ​Chelsea’s 4-0 win over St Patrick’s Athletic (via ​Goal), ​Luiz insisted that nothing will be handed to these young players, and they instead must prove they deserve a spot in the team through their performances.

He said: “I think we are a lucky team because we have so much talent, the young players are amazing. Every single one, they have the quality already to play for this club. 

“I have to do my role as a senior player just trying to help them and also to do my job. Of course it is a big step up and it’s up to everyone to do their job.

Callum Hudson-Odoi

“I think when you’re young you have to think about you opening the door – not the door opening for you. The young players have to work in this mentality. Because life is not easy.

“Every day another boy is born and another boy wants to be a footballer. And it’s up to everybody to work hard and for them to knock on the door and open the door. They have the talent for that, they have the potential for that, they just have to show that every single day.”

During pre-season, the likes of Mount and 18-year-old Billy Gilmour have been incredibly impressive, whilst the injured trio of ​Loftus-Cheek, Hudson-Odoi and right-back Reece James are all seen as potential building blocks for the future.

Billy Gilmour

The Blues’ academy has enjoyed several years as one of the world’s most successful, and fans are desperate to see players progress through the ranks at Stamford Bridge. 

Lampard and his assistant, Jody Morris, have both worked closely with the academy in the past, and this knowledge of the young players is thought to have been key to Chelsea’s decision to hire the pair.

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