Chelsea all-time record goalscorer Frank Lampard has taken his first steps into management – at Championship side Derby County. Lampard has been keen to start his managerial career and has replaced Gary Rowett as Derby manager, after he left for Stoke City earlier in May.
Even though he left the club four years ago, he still has strong links and an affinity with Chelsea, and with Under-18s manager Jody Morris to join him as his assistant manager, Lampard could seek to recruit new signings from his former club.
Here are five Chelsea players he could target as manager of Derby.
1. Jamal Blackman
The first position that Lampard could seek to sort out first is goalkeeper. Scott Carson has been rumoured with a reunion with Rowett at Stoke, so Derby will be in need of a new first choice should he depart.
Blackman was on loan at fellow Championship side Sheffield United last season, featuring in 31 league games. The 24-year-old kept nine clean sheets while at Brammall Lane, and is more than capable of being first choice at Derby next season.
He signed a four-year at Stamford Bridge last summer, so another loan move is likely for Blackman. He and Lampard were once teammates at Chelsea, so a move to Pride Park could happen.
2. Jay Dasilva
Another Chelsea player who could make the switch to Pride Park this summer is full-back Jay Dasilva.
The 20-year-old spent last season on loan at League One side Charlton Athletic, and was named as the Fans’ Player of the Season. He featured 38 times in the third tier for the Addicks, and could make the step up to Championship football.
One thing that might go against Dasilva is Marcus Olsson. The Swede is the Rams’ first choice left-back. However, Olsson has recently turned 30, and Lampard could opt for a youthful option in Dasilva
3. Kasey Palmer
Someone who will be very familiar to Derby fans is Kasey Palmer, and with Lampard at the helm, we could see 21-year-old re-join the club on loan.
After an injury cut his loan spell at Huddersfield Town short, Palmer signed for the club on loan for the rest of the 2017/18 season, and made 15 league appearances and scored twice during his short stint at Pride Park.
There is an element of unfinished business for Palmer at the club, and he would be a great attacking addition for Lampard’s Derby side. He was part of the Huddersfield side that won promotion to the Premier League in the 2016/17 season, and could help another side to go up.
There's a lot of interest in him, though.
4. Lewis Baker
Arguably the most Frank Lampard-like player to come through the Chelsea academy in recent years, Lewis Baker’s career stagnated slightly last season after a disappointing loan spell to Middlesbrough.
Despite featuring regularly for Boro at the start of the season, he rarely featured in the second half of the campaign.
A goalscoring midfielder, Lampard could sign Baker on loan this summer, and could mentor and tutor the 23-year-old to turn him into the type of midfielder that Lampard was. There’s no doubting Baker’s quality, featuring regularly for Vitesse Arnhem in the Eredivisie.
If he has regular football at Derby, he could be brilliant.
5. Tammy Abraham
Tammy Abraham could be another player who joins Derby from Chelsea this summer, after Lampard has taken the role.
After lighting the Championship up two seasons ago with Bristol City, Abraham struggled to hit similar heights in the Premier League with Swansea last season. In the Championship, the 20-year-old netted 23 goals in a side that finished 17th.
Should he join Derby, a team vying for promotion, he could score even more. After a season in the top flight, he could make the step back down in order to regain his confidence in front of goal. Derby County could be the perfect place for him.
There we have it. These are just five players who could join Derby County this summer, as Frank Lampard replaces Gary Rowett as manager. What do you think? Will Lampard target any players from his former side? Comment below.