It has been just about two months since Chelsea sacked Frank Lampard. Thomas Tuchel’s record since has put the controversy of it into the background, but this was still one of Chelsea’s greatest all time players, in a season where he had a 17 match unbeaten run, completely undone by one month. The reasons why that month occurred have been well talked about and argued over so it isn’t worth digging them back up.
What is far more interesting about former Chelsea manager Frank Lampard now is where he ends up next. He got the job done at Chelsea and can continue on. No manager just stumbles into top four with a transfer ban the year after the club made top four in large part of other teams’ failing. Regardless of whether or not he asked for them or not, Lampard also played a big part in bringing in most if not all of Chelsea’s signings last summer. Those suggesting he will return to the Championship are missing what happened at Chelsea. But Lampard has more options than just the Premier League.
One of the most talked about has been Celtic. The Scottish powerhouse is a bit faded after losing out on their first league title in ages to rivals Rangers. It all went downhill after Brendan Rodgers jumped ship for Leicester. It should be noted the links to Celtic seem to have another driving force behind them though: Steven Gerrard at Rangers.
It is practically another life and Lampard is still being pitted against Gerrard. With Gerrard’s Rangers lifting the title this year and Lampard available, it almost seems poetic for Lampard to go to Celtic and fight for supremacy back.
Celtic would tick a lot of boxes for Lampard that a Premier League club wouldn’t. It has one of the best academies in the world as is practically guaranteed Europe in some way each year. Plus the team is easily geared towards fighting for the league title and other silverware year after year. Celtic proved to be both a happy retreat and training ground for Rodgers who return to the Premier League after his failed stint with Liverpool and showed himself a wiser manager.
The other option on the table as of late has been the England u21s side. Now, at first glance this seems like an immediate step back in every way for Lampard. It would be, but only briefly. Lampard taking over at the England u21s would set him up to be the next English manager without question. And even with Gareth Southgate being England’s best manager in most living memories, he is still heavily criticized for the most mundane of reasons. It would hardly be surprising to see Southgate driven out for anything less than the semifinals in either the Euros or the World Cup and that would leave a potentially u21 manager Lampard on deck to take over.
As mentioned it would be a step back but it would still set Lampard up for the only job besides Chelsea he might want more than all others. Plus, his tactics are far more based on decision making rather than micromanaging so his style already suits international management. With a newborn having just arrived, England u21s might tick a lot of boxes for Lampard.
Those are the two main rumors at the moment but it also wouldn’t be surprised see Premier League clubs sack this summer and consider Lampard after what he did with the Chelsea team. It won’t be anyone in the top half but it would be easy to see a club like Crystal Palace take a look at him. Those jobs will have more competition but Lampard would have the advantage of being a fresher face than the options those clubs normally look at.
Regardless, Lampard’s career is set to continue in a positive way. Whether or not that ever brings him back to Chelsea (or indeed, if he’d even consider it considering how things ended) is another question. But the Chelsea legend marches on.