Chelsea have appointed Frank Lampard as their new head coach after much speculation.
The former England midfielder returns to Stamford Bridge following a season in charge of Sky Bet Championship side Derby.
Lampard has signed a three-year deal to replace Maurizio Sarri after the Italian left to join Juventus in June.
The 41-year-old is Chelsea‘s all-time record goalscorer and won 11 major honours during a successful 13-year stint in west London.
“Chelsea Football Club is delighted to announce Frank Lampard as our new head coach,” a statement on the club’s official website read.
“One of the greatest players in our history during his long and illustrious career, Lampard returns to Stamford Bridge having signed a three-year contract.”
Lampard acknowledged his successful past with the club but insisted he is only thinking about moving forwards following his appointment.
“I am immensely proud to be returning to Chelsea as head coach,” he said.
“Everyone knows my love for this club and the history we have shared, however, my sole focus is on the job in hand and preparing for the season ahead.
“I am here to work hard, bring further success to the club and I cannot wait to get started.”
Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia hailed Lampard as “one of the most talented young coaches” around today as she welcomed him back to the club.
“It gives us great pleasure to welcome Frank back to Chelsea as head coach,” she said in the statement announcing his appointment.
“Frank possesses fantastic knowledge and understanding of the club and last season, he demonstrated he is one of the most talented young coaches in the game.
“After 13 years with us as a player, where he became a club legend and our record goalscorer, we believe this is the perfect time for him to return and are delighted he has done so.
“We will do everything we can to ensure he has all the support required to be a huge success.”
Lampard takes over from Sarri, who endured a frosty relationship with the majority of Chelsea fans during his reign despite leading the club to the Europa League title, the Carabao Cup final and a third-place Premier League finish.
Chelsea are also in the midst of appealing against a transfer ban imposed by FIFA following irregularities in the signing of young players.
Unless an appeal is successful at some point, Lampard will be unable to recruit new players in the next two transfer windows.
His first competitive game in charge will come at Old Trafford as Chelsea meet Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Manchester United on the opening weekend of the Premier League campaign.