Frank Lampard has one hell of a job on his hands after being appointed Chelsea manager.
The Blues legend was Derby County boss last season but after just one campaign will take over at Stamford Bridge after Maurizio Sarri’s exit for Juventus.
Chelsea have already lost their best player, Eden Hazard, to Real Madrid, while their two-window transfer ban means they are unable to improve their squad.
So Lampard would arrive under difficult circumstances, to say the least, although the permanent arrival of Mateo Kovacic will ease some issues.
One thing, however, which makes him an attractive choice, is his connection with the club’s youth system.
The Blues may be forced to dip into their academy next season, especially with Callum Hudson-Odoi and Ruben Loftus-Cheek likely to miss the start of the season with injury.
And Lampard is seen as the ideal person to bring the youngsters through.
Mason Mount and Fiyako Tomori both enjoyed successful loan spells under Lampard at Pride Park this season, with the latter named as the club’s Player of the Year.
Moreover, it is understood Lampard will bring Jody Morris back to Stamford Bridge with him.
Morris spent four years as a coach at Chelsea’s academy before joining Lampard at Derby.
In that time, the Under-18s enjoyed extraordinary success, claiming a fifth successive FA Youth Cup in 2018.
So, how would Chelsea line-up under Lampard? talkSPORT.com takes a look at several options if everyone was fit.
Option No. 1: Play the kids
There is a silver lining to Chelsea’s transfer ban: it should give more young players an opportunity.
This season could become a bit of a free hit for the Blues, so why not prepare for the future by blooding some youngsters?
This formation, 4-3-3, was comfortably the most-used at Derby last season, and Lampard packed his Rams side with pace and energy.
Tammy Abraham, then, seems to fit the bill better than Olivier Giroud.
The 21-year-old scored 26 Championship goals on loan at Aston Villa on their way to promotion.
Chelsea lacked goals from midfield this season and Mount reached double figures at Derby, with crucial contributions throughout the season.
He could become valuable with Loftus-Cheek expected to be on the sidelines for an extended period of time.
Reece James, the 19-year-old full-back who recently suffered ankle ligament damage on England Under-20 duty, made such an impression at Wigan that he captained the Latics on his final appearance and left to a standing ovation.
Lampard plays with energetic full-backs bombing forward to provide width, and could be tempted by the combination of James and Emerson instead of Cesar Azpilicueta and Marcos Alonso.
In defence, Kurt Zouma has broken into the France national team after a successful loan spell with Everton, while big things are expected of Andreas Christensen – and they are both likely to be ahead of Tomori in the pecking order.
Furthermore, the arrival of Christian Pulisic will provide a boost following Hazard’s departure, with Willian and Pedro both in their thirties.
Option No. 2: Stick with experience
Or… Lampard could play it safe.
He knows better than anyone the power of senior players in a dressing room, particularly at Stamford Bridge.
Remember when Andre Villas-Boas arrived in 2011 and tried to get rid of the old guard?
Players like David Luiz, Azpilicueta and Willian, who he played alongside during his time at the club, will need to be kept on side.
The 40-year-old mixed things up at Pride Park this season, using the 4-2-3-1 formation as his Plan B.
It would usually feature a midfield destroyer, like Bradley Johnson, next to a more technical player, such as Tom Huddlestone.
One thing’s for certain, whichever system he picks, Kante will start, although Kovacic will be fighting for his place.
Option No. 3: A bit of both
Lampard would probably be best served to find a healthy balance between youth and experience.
This line-up features a wealth of experience, combined with youthful exuberance and stacked with talent.
Kovacic will likely start in place of Loftus-Cheek while he recovers from injury, while Pedro and Emerson would come in for Hudson-Odoi and James as they work their way back.