Frank Lampard will face his first real judgement at Chelsea in 2020-21, claims Carlton Cole, with a summer of big spending ramping up pressure on the Blues boss.
Blues legend Lampard headed back to west London in the summer of 2019 with just one year of coaching experience at Derby to his name and with Chelsea working under the constraints of a transfer embargo.
He was forced to show considerable faith in home-grown talent as a result, with a number of academy graduates helping to deliver a top-four finish and FA Cup final appearance.
Lampard has refuted claims that said progress was enjoyed while working under little expectation, with there always demands to be met at a club of Chelsea’s stature.
Considerable investment has, however, been made in the current transfer window and the Blues will need tangible success in order to deliver on Roman Abramovich’s remit and to keep their highly-rated manager in a job.
Former Chelsea striker Cole admits as much, telling the Racing Post: “Lamps is a very good morale-boosting manager for his teams.
“I think he has a good support network around him obviously with Jody Morris, and his mate Joe Edwards as well. That will be important this year as he has had money to spend.
“This will be the year that he is judged. I know Frank said there was a lot of pressure on him last season, but there will be more now because he has spent money now which puts him in with all of the Premier League big boys in terms of managers who have invested in the team. I hope it goes well for him.”
Chelsea have added Hakim Ziyech, Timo Werner, Ben Chilwell, Thiago Silva, Kai Havertz, Malang Sarr and Edouard Mendy to their ranks, and there may be more arrivals to come.
His versatility could tick useful boxes for Lampard, but Cole believes the 21-year-old will settle as a holding midfielder wherever he ends up.
A man who also represented the Hammers in his playing days added: “I have seen him at centre-back and he is good but he made his name in midfield and that is his best position.
“I don't see how going back to defence will be good for his overall development.”