Frank Lampard: Why Rebuilding Roman Abramovich’s Chelsea Empire Is No Job for a Rookie

​Maurizio Sarri departed Chelsea nine days after talisman Eden Hazard signed for Real Madrid. With a two-window transfer ban meaning the Blues will be unable to sign any players for next season it seems that Roman’s empire is in danger of falling.

​Frank Lampard is the overwhelming favourite to take the reins. Chelsea’s all-time record goalscorer enjoyed a steady first season in management with Derby County, but is this really the job for a rookie?

Despite having some star quality in their team ​Chelsea haven’t been involved in the title race for the last couple of seasons. Without the ability to sign players it’s difficult to see who will step up and fill the gap left by Hazard’s departure.

Last season Chelsea had forty-one young players out on loan. It seems that Chelsea will be forced to give some of these talented youngsters a chance in the first team next season, but it’s a risky strategy. An influx of young players would have a far better chance of succeeding with an experienced head guiding them.

In the dressing room their leaders such as John Terry and Didier Drogba have long-since departed. Leadership needs to come from somewhere and throwing an inexperienced manager into the mix is not the way to achieve it, regardless of his playing career.

There’s no room for sentiment in football and it’s important that these big decisions are made with the head, rather than the heart. It’s eight years since they last fell into this trap.

Porto had just won the league title, dropping only four points all season. They were managed by José Mourinho’s former assistant André Villas-Boas. It was written in the stars that a Portugese coach arriving from Porto would be a good fit at a club that had struggled to replace “the special one” – AVB was sacked after eleven months.

Andre Villas-Boas

Lampard enjoyed a decent season at ​Derby, finishing 6th and taking the Rams to Wembley where they lost the play-off final against Aston Villa. But with just one year of managerial experience under his belt a job as big as Chelsea will be biting off far more than he can chew.

Chelsea runs through Lampard’s veins and if the call comes, he will answer. In this testing time for a club that has won more trophies than any other over the last fifteen years it feels like they need more.

This could be a managerial appointment that happens one day, but this is not the time or the place for Lampard to put his reputation on the line. It would be beneficial for both parties to put this arrangement on hold for now.

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Transfer Rumours: Everton to United, Trippier to Juve, Tokoz to Liverpool or Arsenal and More

​If the pre-season is good for one thing (it’s up for debate whether it is or not) then it’s transfer rumours. June and July, bleeding into the early part of August, are always loaded with a ceaseless stream of speculation on moves which, by and large, won’t happen. 

But occasionally they do, and that’s the only thing that keeps us going through this long, league season-less slog some people call a holiday. So, to tide you over until your team actually signs someone, here are the best transfer rumours this Sunday has to offer. 


Everton Alludes to Potential Manchester United Move

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No, that’s not as confusing as it sounds. After scoring his first goal for Brazil, Everton – Gremio’s Brazilian prospect, not Merseyside’s oldest football club – has hinted that he might fancy a move to Old Trafford.

Coming on for the last ten minutes to replace Ajax star David Neres, as Brazil led 2-0 over Bolivia in their opening Copa America tie, the 23-year-old cut in from the left and let loose a sizzling effort that put the game beyond doubt, establishing himself on the international scene. 

As quoted by the ​Mail, he hinted that his playing style might suit ​Manchester United, saying: “I’m a player that’s always trying to get on top of the opposition, cutting in from the left with dribbles and good finishes. Clubs in Europe have this style of play too and maybe I can fit in at Manchester United and others.”

There has been no real indication yet that United are interested in him this summer, but they do need wide players…


Two More Teenagers Swap England for the Bundesliga

Martell Taylor-Crossdale

Opportunities are hard to come by for young players in English football, so much so that a growing number of youngsters are heading east to Germany to carve out some first-team chances. In recent years, we’ve seen Jadon Sancho, Ademola Lookman, Reiss Nelson and Reece Oxford among the young prospects who have thrived in the Bundesliga, and it seems as if we will see two more complete moves in the weeks to come. 

That’s because ​Chelsea‘s Martell Taylor-Crossdale and Fulham’s Cody Drameh will undergo medicals over moves to Hoffenheim and Eintracht Frankfurt respectively, as per the ​Mirror

Tayor-Crossdale, 19, is from the Chelsea production line that brought through the likes of Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Tammy Abraham and Callum Hudson-Odoi, while Drameh – just 17 – apparently doesn’t fancy a season on the fringes of the squad in the Championship. 


Harvey Elliott Set for Fulham Departure

Jensen Weir,Tim Lemperle

And now for the smoothest of segues, as Harvey Elliott – in the same age group at Fulham as Drameh – is reported to be closing in on a departure. 

You might know Elliott as the youngest player to feature in a Premier League match, making his debut for the Cottagers last season at 16 years and 30 days, but our pals the ​Mail report that with his contract expiring at the end of the month, he too is set for an exit.

Barcelona are rumoured to be interested, while he could follow his pals to Germany, as RB Leipzig are mentioned as another potential destination. 


Christan Benteke to Fight for His Place at Crystal Palace

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Once one of the most feared target men in English football, Christian Benteke never really recovered from an ill-fated move to Liverpool in 2015. As he now seems to be firmly out of favour at ​Crystal Palace with just a year left on his deal, he looks set to leave the club this summer and make a career for himself in Turkey, China, or somewhere else that seasoned, big-money, past-their-best pros go to wind down their careers.

Or so we thought. ​The Evening Standard claim that Big Ben does fancy a move to China, but since there are no concrete offers on the table, he is prepared to knuckle down and fight for his place instead.

In an injury ravaged season, he managed one goal in 19 appearances in 2018/19. His fate might just depend on whether or not Roy Hodgson is able to secure the services of another striker, with no obvious alternatives available as things stand. 


Juventus Eye Kieran Trippier as Replacement for Joao Cancelo

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Juventus fans seemed a bit underwhelmed at the appointment of Maurizio Sarri earlier on Sunday, and if that was something they see as an underwhelming replacement, then it will be interesting to see how they react to bringing in England’s third-choice right-back to replace Joao Cancelo. 

The ​Times report that should Cancelo move to Manchester City, it’s Trippier that Juve chiefs want as a replacement, with a £30m move on the table for the Spurs man, who turns 29 in September. 

​He wants the move too, so this might actually be a goer, as absurd as it sounds.


Aston Villa Want Ethan Ampadu on Loan

Ethan Ampadu

Loan moves to A​st​on Villa from Chelsea have typically been successful in recent years, with Tammy Abraham winning the Championship golden boot on loan at Villa Park last season. According to ​The Gu​ardian, Welsh prospect Ethan Ampadu could follow in his footsteps, and get his first real taste of Premier League action with the Villans. 

It’s unclear whether the 18-year-old will be available, with the possibility remaining that any new Chelsea manager – be it Frank Lampard or someone else – could involve him in their first team plans.

There is a belief in the club’s hierarchy, however, that after making just five appearances in all competitions last season, he would benefit from regular first team football. Villa want to offer him that, and will make their move at the first sign of his availability. So the report goes, at least.


Wolves and Southampton in Bidding War Over Inter Starlet

Zinho Vanheusden,Luca Vido

Wolves and Southampton are two sides with lofty ambitions for next season, with the former looking to build on their stellar seventh placed finish in their first season back in the top flight, while the latter strive for success in their first full season under Ralph Hasenhuttl. 

According to Dutch outlet ​HBVL, the two are set to go head to head over highly-rated Inter centre-back Zinho Vanheusden, who spent last season on loan at Standard Liege, establishing himself as one of the most promising young defenders in the Jupiler Pro League. 

With the Nerrazzuri taking things in a different direction under Antonio Conte, they are believed to be willing to sell for a fee of around £18m, and nether club are deterred by that asking price for the 19-year-old.


Liverpool Interested in Turkish Prospect as Camacho Heads for Exit

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Dorukhan Tokoz was part of the Turkey side who surprised everyone by getting the better of world champions France last weekend, and could soon get his reward, as rumours circulate that ​Liverpool and Arsenal could come in for the 23-year-old in the forseeable future.

Both sides are reported by ​Fotomac (as per ​Sport Witness) to be in a race with Udinese for the midfielder, for whom Besiktas already rejected an €8m offer from the Italian side.

He made 25 appearances for Besiktas last season after signing from Eskiserhispor a year ago, and may be one to watch in the Premier League next season if his current career trajectory is  anything to go by. 

Heading in the opposite direction is Liverpool striker Rafael Camacho, who is looking increasingly likely to return to his native Portugal.

According to Portuguese outlet ​A Bola, Sporting CP are pursuing a move for the 19-year-old after failing to get him on loan last year. The youngster only has one year left on his deal and is reluctant to sign a contract extension, meaning a permanent move for a fee in the region of 10m could happen.

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Callum Hudson-Odoi Looking to Remain at Chelsea if Frank Lampard Is Appointed Manager

Following the departure of Maurizio Sarri to Juventus and the expected arrival of Frank Lampard, Callum Hudson-Odoi is reportedly more inclined to stay and pursue a career with the Blues. 

With the winger’s current contract set to expire in June 2020, Hudson-Odoi has been reluctant to pen a long term deal with Chelsea and has been at the centre of transfer rumours linking him away from the club.

Callum Hudson-Odoi

The recent speculation linking ​Derby manager Lampard to the Chelsea job has led Hudson-Odoi to rethink his options while he recovers from a ruptured Achilles suffered against Burnley in April. 

According to the ​Daily Mail, the appointment of Lampard along with his assistant and former ​Chelsea player Jody Morris, means the chances of Hudson-Odoi staying would be higher than at any time during the Sarri era. 

The winger already has a great relationship with Morris following his time managing the Chelsea Under-18 side that Hudson-Odoi played in. 

Chelsea’s transfer ban means that the winger is set to play a pivotal role at Stamford Bridge once he returns from injury. The departure of star man ​Eden Hazard has left the number 10 shirt vacant, with Hudson-Odoi being promised it would be his should he pen a long term contract.

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After playing only four times before Christmas, Hudson-Odoi struggled with game time initially under Sarri which led to the winger looking at his options abroad to aid his development. 

He was linked with a move to Bayern Munich during the winter transfer window, and despite an increase in his playing time towards the business end of the season he was still rumoured to be eyeing offers from the Bundesliga.

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Golden Boy 2019: The 16 English Youngsters On the Long List for Coveted Award

​The Golden Boy is an award handed out to the best under 21 player in European football annually.

Lionel Messi, Sergio Aguero and Kylian Mbappe are just three examples of previous winners, who have gone on to have huge success in the game. The most recent winner – Matthijs De Ligt – was the first defender to win the award and adds to a list of incredibly gifted players to have been recognised in previous years.

​Tuttosport, the Italian publication who established the award back in 2003, have just released the long list of 100 nominees for the 2019 title, which will be whittled down after a fan vote. 

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Along with obvious candidates like De Ligt, Moise Kean and Gianluigi Donnarumma, the list includes 25 ​Premier League players – 16 of whom are English.

​Wayne Rooney and ​Raheem Sterling are the only two Englishman to have won the award previously, but 2019 could see an English player crowned Golden Boy for the third time.

Here’s a list of the English players to have received a nomination.


Angel Gomes (Manchester United)

Angel Gomes

Gomes was part of the England squad who won the Under-17 World Cup in 2017 and has already made three senior appearances for ​Manchester United. 

With Ole Gunnar Solskjaer looking more towards youth, we could see much more of the youngster next season.


Keanan Bennetts (Borussia Monchengladbach)

Bennetts is a left winger, who spent his formative years at ​Tottenham Hotspur before making the move to the ​Bundesliga last summer. He is yet to feature for the first team, but with Thorgan Hazard recently leaving Monchengladbach, a path to the senior squad could be open next year.


Rhian Brewster (Liverpool)

​Brewster burst onto the scene when he won the golden boot in England’s Under-17 World Cup winning campaign two years ago. Injury has prevented him from featuring too much under Jurgen Klopp, but now back at full fitness, Brewster is one to watch in the Premier League next season.


Phil Foden (Manchester City)

Phil Foden

The 19-year-old is clearly blossoming under the tutorship of Pep Guardiola and the second half​ of ​Manchester City’s title-winning campaign saw Foden featuring regularly. With David Silva coming towards the end of his career, City seem to have the perfect replacement already among their ranks.


Morgan Gibbs-White (Wolverhampton Wanderers)

Another player benefitting from the coaching of their manager is Gibbs-White of ​Wolves. The 19-year-old already has 46 senior appearances under his belt and has played an increasingly important role in his side’s Premier League fortunes.


Charlie Gilmour (Arsenal)

​The Brighton-born youngster has impressed with his performances which have come mainly in Premier League 2 games. The 20-year-old has switched allegiances between England and Scotland youth teams, but may need to make a final decision should he receive a call-up for one of the senior teams in the next few years.


Callum Hudson-Odoi (Chelsea)

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The ​Chelsea ​youngster spent much of this season struggling for game time, but gradually fought his way into the first team before suffering injury towards the end of the campaign. Once he returns to action, he will be looking to continue the good form he has already shown in his short career to date.


Mason Mount (Chelsea)

Mount excelled this season in his loan spell at ​Derby County, where he lit the Championship up with his enigmatic performances from midfield. With Rams boss Frank Lampard expected to take over at Stamford Bridge, Mount could be a Premier League star in the next few seasons.


Reiss Nelson (Arsenal)

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As one of many Premier League​ youngsters to go abroad in search of first-team football, Nelson had great success during his loan spell with Hoffenheim. Scoring seven goals in the Bundesliga in 2018/19, the 19-year-old will hope to make a big impression in the Premier League next year.


Eddie Nketiah (Arsenal)

​The London-born 20-year-old has played most of his football in the PL2 but has impressed in his occasional first team appearance. After scoring in ​Arsenal’s final game of the season, Nketiah is a player who Gunners are desperate to see more of next season.


Tashan Oakley-Boothe (Tottenham Hotspur)

Likewise, Oakley-Boothe has been starved of first-team action, as all his playing time at Spurs has come in youth and development squads. The 19-year-old can play anywhere across the midfield and will hope to break into the senior team in the coming years.


Jadon Sancho (Borussia Dortmund)

Jadon Sancho

​Perhaps the most well-known of all the English players up for the Golden Boy award, Sancho is already a star on the biggest stage. An incredible season saw him cement his place in the ​Dortmund team, picking up 12 goals and 14 assists in the process.


Oliver Skipp (Tottenham Hotspur)

The 18-year-old has impressed Mauricio Pochettino enough to break into the Tottenham first team this season, which has seen him make eight league appearances. The defensive midfielder is set to play an even bigger role next season and is certainly one to watch in the Premier League.


Dujon Sterling (Chelsea)

Sterling was one of Chelsea’s many loaned-out players this season, as he spent the 2018/19 campaign playing for League One side Coventry. The 19-year-old was an integral part of a Sky Blues side who fell just short of the playoffs, as he scored five and assisted four whilst playing at right back.


Joe Willock (Arsenal)

Joe Willock

​You may recall Willock from Arsenal’s Europa League final defeat to Chelsea. The 19-year-old brought the game back to life as a second-half substitute and was unlucky not to get his name on the scoresheet. Willock is one of several young Gunners who will be vying for a first team spot next season.

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L’Equipe Top 50 Under 20: The 8 English Youngsters Who Make the List

Prestigious French football magazine of Ballon d’Or fame ​L’Equipe has recently released their list of the top 50 players born since 1 January 1999, ahead of FIFA’s Under-20 World Cup this summer.

Ajax captain and this summer’s hottest transfer property Matthijs de Ligt appears top of the list of the world’s best teenagers, while the likes of Vinicius Junior, Gianluigi Donnarumma and Kai Havertz all make the top 10.

Matthijs de Ligt

There are nine starlets owned by Premier League clubs, while there are eight English talents on the list in total. Only France has more names represented among ​L’Equipe’s 50, with 10. Spain, Portugal, Netherlands and Italy all have four players featured.

Below is a breakdown of each of the eight English names on the list and where they ranked. 


Jadon Sancho (2nd)

Jadon Sancho

The most recognisable English name on the list, Sancho has enjoyed a breakout season​ with club side ​Borussia Dortmund whilst also making his senior debut for the national side. 

An exciting attacking force, Sancho has terrorised defences in the Bundesliga, scoring 13 goals and providing 19 assists in 43 appearances in all competitions as Dortmund came close to winning the title last season. 

Although more likely than not to stay put in Germany for the time being, he has been the subject of intense transfer rumours this summer with figures as high as £100m being suggested, such is the hype surrounding the young star.


Declan Rice (9th)

Declan Rice

Making the top 10 is ​West Ham star Rice, who has enjoyed an impressive first full season with the London club. 

Rice has established himself as a first-choice midfielder under Manuel Pellegrini, whilst also (controversially) switching international allegiances to England and winning his first senior caps.

Having made 38 appearances in domestic competitions last year, he looks set to be a key player for club and country in seasons to come. 

Like with Sancho, eye-watering price tags have already been suggested.


Callum Hudson-Odoi (13th)

Callum Hudson-Odoi

The ​Chelsea winger made headlines in January when German giants Bayern Munich approached the Blues with an offer to take him to Bavaria​. Chelsea stood firm, believing the young Englishman to be a key component to their future.

With the departure of Eden Hazard to Real Madrid, Hudson-Odoi will hope he gets more opportunities to shine next season and build on the impressive performances he put in last campaign, which led to him his senior international debut in March.

He has just a year left on his contract however and Bayern are still lurking.


Ryan Sessegnon (15th)

Ryan Sessegnon

Despite ending the season by being relegated with ​Fulham and failing to set the Premier League ablaze as many anticipated, Sessegnon ​is still a hot property. 

The left-sided star caught the eye in Fulham’s promotion campaign in the Championship and will be frustrated he couldn’t replicate this form, as he was shunted from pillar to post under three managers, in the Cottagers single Premier League season.

Tottenham Hotspur are reportedly interested in acquiring the services of the player L’Equipe rank higher than Justin Kluivert and Samuel Chukwueze. 

Under the right tutelage, a raw talent like Sessegnon could become a key player for club and country. 


Phil Foden (19th)

Phil Foden

When you can count Pep Guardiola as an admirer then there is cl​early something special about you. ​

Manchester City fan and player Foden has enjoyed another good season with the Champions, adding another ​Premier League winners medal to his collection before his 20th birthday.

When given the chance, the youngster has impressed with some mature performances in City’s star-studded attack. If he can get more game-time, the sky’s the limit.


Reiss Nelson (21st)

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​Arsenal forward Nelson was sent out on loan by Unai Emery ​last season and found himself in the Bundesliga with Hoffenheim, where he enjoyed a very good campaign.

He made 25 appearances for the German side and scored seven goals – an impressive tally as he was mainly used as a substitute. His time in Germany will have provided him with valuable experience and he will be hoping to become more than a bit part player for the Gunners next season.


Mason Mount (30th)

Mason Mount

Ranking one place higher than Benfica’s Tottenham-linked star Gedson Fernandes is Chelsea’s Mason Mount, who spent last season on loan at Championship side ​Derby County and under Blues legend Frank Lampard. Mount impressed in the second tier and even earned a call-up to the senior national side in October 2018.

Like Nelson, he will be hoping to feature for Chelsea in the coming season, if he avoids being sent out on loan again. But with former boss Lampard in the frame to take over at the Blues, Mount’s fortunes may be looking up.


Dwight McNeil (40th)

Dwight McNeil,Bernardo Silva

Despite only making his ​Burnley debut in May 2018, ​McNeil has made 22 appearances for the Clarets and has scored three goals, a decent return for a winger who has made mostly substitute appearances. 

The 19-year-old will be hoping for more opportunities to showcase his ability and show why he has been included on L’Equipe’s prestigious list. He will also be looking to impress Gareth Southgate following some impressive displays for England Under-20s


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