Chelsea have confirmed Thomas Tuchel as their new manager after sacking Frank Lampard on Monday.
Lampard’s status as the club’s record goalscorer and fans’ favourite could not save him from becoming Roman Abramovich’s 10th managerial sacking.
The former England midfielder lasted just 18 months with the Russian owner acknowledging it was no ordinary decision as he made the rare step of issuing a personal statement of thanks to the outgoing man.
The club though did not waste any time in looking for a successor with German coach Tuchel touted as the man to replace Lampard almost immediately.
The 47-year-old has been available since leaving Paris St Germain last month.
The two-time Ligue 1 winner has penned an initial 18-month contract, and will get to work immediately.
He was due to take his first training session on Tuesday night. He will then take charge of Wednesday’s home league clash with Wolves.
Tribute to Lampard
“I would like to thank Chelsea for their confidence in me and my staff,” Tuchel told Chelsea’s official club website.
“We all have the greatest respect for Frank Lampard’s work and the legacy he created at Chelsea.
“At the same time I cannot wait to meet my new team and compete in the most exciting league in football.
“I am grateful to now be part of the Chelsea family – it feels amazing!”
Outside those environments, he will have to serve a quarantine period of five days.
Tuchel won back-to-back league titles with PSG and took them to the Champions League final only five months ago, when they lost to Bayern Munich.
That was not enough to satisfy the club’s ambitious owners, who replaced him with Mauricio Pochettino.
Prior to his spell in France, Tuchel impressed in his native Germany with Borussia Dortmund following a spell with Mainz.
Tuchel will be familiar with at least two members of the Chelsea squad after he worked with Thiago Silva at PSG. He also handed Christian Pulisic his chance at Dortmund while the American was still a teenager.
Tuchel inherits German talent
He will also inherit a number of big money upgrades signed in the summer, including Ben Chilwell, Kai Havertz, Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech, though arguably only the latter has justified his price tag so far.
Not getting the best out of them perhaps proved fatal for Lampard, who negotiated a transfer ban, introduced several young players and led the team to a fourth-placed finish and an FA Cup final in his first campaign, but could not convince Abramovich he could push on further in his second.
Meanwhile, TEAMtalk understands the decision to axe Lampard was made after Leicester game.
The former Derby boss was given a chance after 3-1 defeat to Man City. However, the defeat to Leicester was the final straw.
Marina Granovskaia has been working on his replacement since then. We understand the same agents who brokered deals for Werner and Havertz have done a deal for Tuchel.