Chelsea's transfer ban would take pressure off Frank Lampard, says Paul Merson
Last Updated: 17/06/19 11:12am
Frank Lampard would have pressure taken off him as Chelsea boss under the club's year-long transfer ban, Paul Merson says.
Lampard is the favourite to take over at Stamford Bridge after the Blues confirmed today Sarri has returned to his native Italy to take the reigns at Serie A champions Juventus.
Sky Sports News understands Chelsea have made their former midfielder their 'priority' target since learning of Sarri's desire to leave, but have not yet approached his club - Derby County - over buying out his contract, which would cost £4m.
The 40-year-old has just completed his first season in management at Pride Park and would enter the Chelsea hot-seat as a relative rookie, but Merson believes his rapport with the club's fanbase, plus their enforced transfer ban covering this summer and next January, would make the transition back to the Premier League a lot easier.
"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.
"(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 said. "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."