From the moment owner Roman Abramovich opted to take a very hands-on approach in tempting to bring Lampard back to Stamford Bridge, there was only ever going to be one outcome.
The end of a drawn-out saga now appears in sight; Chelsea head to Japan in two weeks' time for their pre-season tour, but for the 41-year-old, a hefty in-tray of jobs will be his first port of call. Ben Grounds assesses what lies ahead for the new incumbent at Stamford Bridge.

Find a Hazard replacement

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Eden Hazard holds a press conference following his official presentation as new player of the Real Madrid CF at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid on June 13, 2019.

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It was Maurizio Sarri's glorious winning start that ultimately allowed Chelsea to build a solid platform to clinch their return to the Champions League, but if Lampard is to retain that top-four status, it is not just a clear playing style that will be needed.
Replacing Eden Hazard’s world-class talent is a daunting task, but it offers a chance for the likes of Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Callum Hudson-Odoi – once he returns in December from his Achilles’ injury – to become the club’s new talisman.
The sale of Hazard has left a void of creativity, but had the Belgian still been a Chelsea player now, Lampard would’ve been faced with a saga he certainly could have done without.
With Chelsea's looming transfer ban, finding the X-Factor from within the group to replace the playmaker’s goals and assists is the obvious first task.
Greater responsibly falls on Willian and Pedro in the immediate term, while Christian Pulisic will hope to hit the ground running having had his move from Borussia Dortmund confirmed last January.

Assess youngsters on merit

Tammy Abraham

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The two-window transfer ban means that Lampard, alongside his assistant and former Chelsea midfielder Jody Morris, will may have to show faith in academy players that he has already worked with for 12 months.
Mason Mount and Fikayo Tomori were both on loan at Derby from Chelsea last season and, along with Tammy Abraham, all three will hope for the opportunity to break into the first-team picture under a manager who is willing to blood youth.
Abraham has spoken of it being “now or never” for him at Chelsea given the restrictions in the transfer market imposed on the club, but Lampard will not want to waste his shot at extending his legacy on players not up to the required standards.
Having worked under constraints at Derby, making the most of the loan system, Lampard has better pool of players to choose from, and the likes of Reece James, Jake Clarke-Salter and the aforementioned trio cannot view increased first-team exposure as an inevitability.

Weed out the bad influences

Danny Drinkwater has not played at all under Maurizio Sarri

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A staggering 42 players were shipped out on loan last season, and the value of those returning to Stamford Bridge has been estimated at £300m.
The likes of Mount and Abraham will now believe that Lampard will offer them a better chance of breaking into the first team, but Chelsea will not view the next two transfer windows as a free swing for their new manager.
Then there are the players deemed surplus to requirements by Sarri. What future lies in store for Tiemoue Bakayoko, Danny Drinkwater, Kenedy and Kurt Zouma? Unlike his predecessor, Lampard will at least have a full pre-season to assess those he wants to keep and those who will be allowed to leave.
Often, Sarri was seen flapping his arms on the touchline as his players failed to take on board his instructions. David Luiz was prone to making his own decisions during an often volatile relationship with the Italian, and Lampard must stamp his authority early on as manager and not ‘one of the lads’.

Choose a system that suits

Maurizio Sarri the head coach / manager of Chelsea gestures towards Ross Barkley of Chelsea during the Chelsea training session prior to the UEFA Europa League Final between Chelsea and Arsenal at Baku Olimpiya Stadionu on May 28, 2019 in Baku, Azerbaija

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Much of Maurizio Sarri’s reign was spent discussing the worth of his system. Sarriball ultimately proved successful with the club finishing third in the Premier League, securing Champions League football for next season, capped with Europa League success.
But Lampard has now been left with the same dilemma of where to play N’Golo Kante in conjunction with Jorginho. Supporters were left uninspired by their former manager’s possession-based football. Lampard’s preferred formation - like Sarri – is 4-3-3 – but a more counter-attacking style can be expected.
Derby scored five fast-break goals last season – joint first among Championship clubs – and Chelsea have the players to have similar success.

Keep expectations high

Europa League Final - Chelsea v Arsenal - Baku Olympic Stadium, Baku, Azerbaijan - May 29, 2019 Chelsea's Olivier Giroud lifts the trophy as they celebrate winning the Europa League

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Working for Chelsea has always been about winning trophies under Abramovich, and despite the looming transfer ban, Lampard will be keen for expectations not to be lowered.
While Manchester City and Liverpool remain favourites to challenge for the Premier League title, the new Blues boss will be desperate to prove himself at a higher level.
Lampard will be tasked with maintaining success, and he will still target success in the Champions League, while a top four finish will remain a realistic target.
Sarri went 12 league games unbeaten at the start of his reign – the longest unbeaten start to a Premier League managerial career – but the sense of optimism waned as autumn turned to winter.
The former Napoli boss had promised an intense brand of football, but fans began to grow frustrated by predictable like-for-like substitutions, notably Ross Barkley being replaced by Mateo Kovacic, to no greater effect.
Lampard retained faith in his Derby players during their February dip in form, and he will not need to lift morale (his arrival has taken care of that), but ensuring the gloom that quickly clouded Conte’s second season and Sarri’s short stint will be a huge part of his remit.
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