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Ferdinand: No other choice for Chelsea than Lampard - he's the next Guardiola!

Rio Ferdinand believes Frank Lampard can become Chelsea's version of Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola.

Derby boss and former Blues star Lampard is the favourite to replace Maurizio Sarri at the helm, with the Italian hoping for a return to Italy with Juventus.

Lampard has only had one year in management, but Ferdinand believes his former England teammate can emulate Guardiola's success at Barcelona, where he made the transition from player to coach after a year in management.

"If Chelsea are going to get a ban transfer-wise, I don't think they can look anywhere but Frank if I am honest," he said. "He and Jody know all the kids from 16 upwards. They know what they can all do.

"Chelsea have had the best young kids in the country for a while now – Manchester City are coming around that but for a good few years Chelsea have had the best kids and none of them get in the first team. As a football club you would think they would like to change that.

"If they want to change that, there is no one but Frank. He is someone who their young players are going to look at every day and say, 'Wow! Frank is gonna play us. He played [Chelsea loanee] Mason Mount at Derby every game when he was fit, he played [Liverpool loanee Harry] Wilson every game he was fit. He trusts kids. His first season, under mad pressure at Derby, he played all the kids. He is gonna do that with us!'

"So he invigorates not only the first team and the fans but the kids coming through. At a time when managers are scared and under pressure not to play kids, I think it will be refreshing."

Ferdinand added: "People talk about experience and what-not but what experience did Pep have when he went into Barcelona's first team? He trained the younger kids at the club.

"Would he [Lampard] wilt under the pressure when big players throw a wobbly in training? I don't think he would. Frank knows Chelsea, he knows the players and the players will respect him."

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Freddie Taylor

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