Frank Lampard has been appointed as Everton manager, signing a two year contract following the sacking of Rafa Benitez.
Lampard will be keen to prove that he can be successful in the Premier League following his sacking at Chelsea last season.
After guiding Chelsea to the top four in his opening season, Chelsea struggled in Lampard’s second season in charge.
There were many positives that Lampard can take away from his time at Chelsea including the progression of younger players in the squad, such as Mason Mount, Tammy Abraham and Reece James.
Chelsea’s transfer ban in his opening season meant he had to turn to youth, which worked to his advantage as young players were given an opportunity to develop in the squad.
It could be argued that the introduction of new signings into the squad was the start of his downfall. Timo Werner, Thiago Silva, Kai Havertz, Hakim Ziyech, and Ben Chilwell were among the players to join in Lampard’s second season in charge.
While Chilwell and Silva have been a success, other signings have not fit into the squad as planned and this ultimately contributed to Lampard’s dismissal.
While Everton will be an exciting move for Lampard, results are needed immediately to turn their fortunes around. The Toffees currently lie in 16th place in the league, just four points above the relegation zone, and without a win in five games
Everton fans have been unhappy with the club for some time. The appointment of Rafa Benitez was never popular with the fans, so the former Liverpool manager was under constant pressure.
The hierarchy at Everton have also received criticism from fans, with a lack of funding into the first team squad prior to this transfer window. The gap between Everton and the top six is growing every season, a disappointing fact for fans who had hoped the club could at least compete for European places on a regular basis.
Players with a point to prove
Just as a former goal scoring midfielder takes over as manager, two goal scoring midfielders moved to Everton on Deadline Day. Manchester United midfielder Donny Van De Beek has joined on loan until the end of the season, while Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Dele Alli has joined for a fee of £40 million.
For Frank Lampard, he has two clearly talented midfielders who have shown they can deliver much needed creativity from deep, while also providing goals and assists. However, a difficult couple of seasons for both players means confidence is low.
Van De Beek was signed by United after some eye-catching performances with Ajax in the Champions League. He excelled at arriving into the box late and scoring goals. Game time has been difficult to come by at United, with Bruno Fernandes preferred at the number 10 role, and the Dutchman unable to start ahead of Fred and Scott McTominay in deeper midfield positions.
The former Ajax star has admitted that Lampard was a factor in moving to the club, with Newcastle United and Crystal Palace also reportedly interested.
For Dele Alli, the story of his downfall is one that raises many questions. In his first three seasons at Spurs, Alli was arguably one of the best midfielders in the league. His link up play with Harry Kane and extraordinary goal tally for a midfielder led to a number of comparisons to his new manager Lampard.
However, the last couple of seasons, especially since Pochettino’s departure, has seen Alli in and out of the side under three different managers. He was unable to sustain a run of form, or even a consistent run of games.
Alli’s fall from grace is something only he can answer. If he can regain any of the form that saw him become a star in the Premier League, it will be a joy for all fans of football.
Lampard will see signs of himself in both players. All three will be keen to prove that they have more to offer at the highest level and can be a proven success in the Premier League.