Frank Lampard has returned to Chelsea as caretaker manager until the end of the season following the sacking of Graham Potter, the Premier League club confirmed on Thursday.
The club’s record goalscorer previously spent 19 months as manager at Stamford Bridge before being dismissed in January 2021.
“We are delighted to welcome Frank back to Stamford Bridge. Frank is a Premier League Hall of Famer and a legend at this club,” co-controlling owners Todd Boehly and Behdad Eghbali said in a statement on the club’s website.
“As we continue our thorough and exhaustive process for a permanent head coach, we want to provide the club and our fans with a clear and stable plan for the remainder of the season.
“We want to give ourselves every chance of success and Frank has all of the characteristics and qualities we need to drive us to the finish line.”
Lampard’s return, while the club seeks a full-time replacement for Potter, will at least provide a boost for the fans who have seen their team struggle despite a spend of almost 300 million pounds ($374 million) on new players in January.
The former England midfielder has cult status at Stamford Bridge and many fans were disappointed to see him fired by former owner Roman Abramovich after a run of poor results.
Lampard’s first task will be preparing the side for Saturday’s away trip to Wolverhampton Wanderers in the Premier League before next week’s Champions League quarter-final first leg away to Real Madrid.
“We are all going to give Frank our full backing as we aim to get the best possible outcome from all our remaining games,” the club statement added.
Lampard will know many of the players from his previous time in charge but will also have to try and find the right blend of the new signings — something Potter struggled to achieve.
It also offers the 44-year-old, who scored 211 goals for Chelsea in all competitions during a trophy-laden 13 years as a player, a route back into coaching after he was sacked by Everton in January.