That is according to former Arsenal midfielder and Sky Sports pundit Paul Merson, who thinks Chelsea’a transfer ban could be a blessing in disguise for Lampard.
Lampard is favourite to take over at Stamford Bridge after the Blues confirmed that Maurizio Sarri has returned to his native Italy to take the reigns at Serie A champions Juventus.
Reports suggest Chelsea made their all-time top goalscorer Lampard their top ‘priority’ to replace Sarri when they were sure that he was leaving for Turin.
They have not yet approached Lampard’s current club Derby County over buying out his contract, which would cost £4m, but an official bid could is expected to be made in the coming days.
The 40-year-old guided Derby to the Championship play-off final last season, only for them to miss out on a return to the Premier League with defeat to Aston Villa.
While he is certainly still inexperienced as a manager, Merson thinks that he could be coming to Chelsea at just the right time where the pressure would not be so great.
“He’s done a bit of an apprenticeship at Derby. They did great to get into the Championship play-off final,” he told Sky Sports.
“But it’s not like you’re bringing in a manager who’s going to be dealing with £70, 80, 90m transfer deals with the pressure on him to bring in players, especially when you haven’t been in that situation before and you’re talking about inexperience.
“The fans will be patient with him because he’s a legend”
“(Ole Gunnar) Solskjaer – he’s been manager of Molde, didn’t do great at Cardiff and he’s got to be bringing in players of that level. But with Frank, he comes in and the team’s there, the fans will be patient with him because he’s a legend. I think he ticks the boxes.
“If he comes in too, Jody Morris has already been at the club, he knows the kids who are coming through. There are a lot more of those kids at Chelsea and it is more of a chance to give them a chance instead of bringing players in and the crowd asking what they brought him in for.”
Merson had a word of warning for the club, however, that they may regret their indifference towards Sarri despite the Italian guiding them to third place in the Premier League, the Europa League title and the final of the Carabao Cup.
Sarri reportedly also found transfer chief Marina Granovskaia difficult to deal with and was jeered at times from the stands.
“The football hasn’t been great under Sarri,” Merson added. “Season wise though, it’s not been bad. I hope we don’t look back next season and think, cor, he was good – they only finished behind Liverpool and Manchester City.
“To come third and winning a European final – it’s the tournament they were in too, they didn’t drop out of the Champions League – could they have done much more?
“The pressure was: he didn’t really play (Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Callum Hudson-Odoi), was predictable with Jorginho, and the football at Stamford Bridge wasn’t great, it started off entertaining and then fizzled out.
“It was a catalogue of things in the end. But you don’t want to be sitting there asking why they let him go next season.”