Report: Chelsea board narrow down manager search, want him to have key skill

If Chelsea decides to let go of Frank Lampard then their next manager will likely speak German, according to The Athletic.

Chelsea fell to another Premier League defeat last night at the hands of Leicester City as previous questions over Lampard’s credentials were reignited.

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David Ornstein of The Athletic had already identified possible replacements after the Blues lost to Manchester City earlier this month.

Names included Julian Nagelsmann of RB Leipzig and free-agent Thomas Tuchel, both German citizens who have managed in their homeland.

Southampton’s Ralph Hasenhuttl was also mentioned, a man who forged his way from the German third tier to taking Leipzig into the Champions League.

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This would fit the narrative that Chelsea want a native speaker or someone who is aware of the culture that can unlock the capabilities of Timo Werner and Kai Havertz.

Neither have been truly ground breaking signings since arriving from the Bundesliga last summer and have struggled in their new English setting.

Both are clearly exceptional talents who didn’t get to this position by chance. But it feels as if they need a coach who understands their natural game better.

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Another under the German umbrella is Christian Pulisic, who joined from Borussia Dortmund two years ago and there’s also a sense he too can step up another level.

Hasenhuttl worked with Werner at Leipzig, who has already said Chelsea aren’t getting the best out of the forward, whilst Tuchel oversaw Pulisic’s development at Dortmund.

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The Athletic also suggested that these particular coaches would provide a ‘clarity of tactical thought’ that involves ‘improving the collective’ whilst also ‘raising individual standards’.

This would oppose the current Chelsea model of spending a lot of money on gifted individuals but ultimately unable to bring them together as a team.

Lampard has not yet been able to orchestrate his expensive ensemble, which has been his downfall of late.

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No doubt the Chelsea hierarchy will be exploring other options considering the already thin ice Lampard has been skating on.

A German manager is not a route they have gone down before and one I’m sure they’d be intrigued pursuing, considering the successes of those at other clubs.

I think Hasenhuttl would be an excellent addition if the time comes for Lampard. The job he’s done with the Saints is outstanding and deserves a chance at a so-called ‘bigger club’.

Nathaniel is a football journalist who graduated from the University of Derby. He has worked at Burton Albion as part of their media team for two years. Nathaniel produces regular articles for the club’s official website and match-day programme. He covered the 2018 U20 Women’s World Cup in Brittany and has reported from grounds ranging from non-league up to the Premier League.