Tuchel says Lampard will always remain a Chelsea legend

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Thomas Tuchel is looking forward to meeting Frank Lampard in person for the first time and says the man he succeeded as Chelsea boss will always remain a Blues great.

Lampard won 11 major trophies across a legendary 14-year playing career with Chelsea and remains the London club's all-time leading scorer with 211 goals

The 43-year-old had less success in the Stamford Bridge dugout, however, as he lasted just 18 months at the helm before being sacked in January 2021.

Tuchel guided Chelsea to Champions League glory four months later and has won the UEFA Super Cup and Club World Cup this season.

Lampard is now in charge of Everton and has a serious task on his hands in keeping the Toffees in the Premier League.

Speaking ahead of their first managerial meeting at Goodison Park on Sunday, Tuchel revealed Lampard reached out to him when the German was first appointed by Chelsea.

"He sent me a very kind and respectful message after I took over," Tuchel said.

"It meant a lot because I was a huge fan of him as a player and he'll remain a legend at our club, that's a given. I was very happy when he wrote me the gentlemanly message.

"We didn't have a chance to meet before. When took over at Everton he took one of our assistants away with him (Joe Edwards) so we were not so happy with that!

"We will see some familiar faces, with Joey and Ashley Cole also there. I never met Frank in person so I'll be happy to meet him.

"But we arrive with our team needing points, and Everton need the points urgently as well."

Everton have won their last three Premier League home games against Chelsea.
Everton have won their last three Premier League home games against Chelsea.

Lampard will be the 10th former Chelsea manager to take charge of a Premier League match against the Blues.

Only one of the previous nine has won their first such match, with Claudio Ranieri winning 2-1 with Leicester City in December 2015.

Lampard may not have won any silverware while in charge of Chelsea, but he was widely praised for giving younger players such as Reece James and Mason Mount a chance.

The pair have continued to thrive under Tuchel, who is more than happy to select academy products if they are good enough for the first team.

Asked if he is grateful to Lampard for his previous work at the club, Tuchel said: "Frank didn't do it to do them a favour. Every coach does it because it's about helping them team.

"If Thiago [Silva] helps us we don't care how old he is, and we don't care how young somebody is – if you're ready, you're ready.

"I strongly believe you'll find your way if you have what it takes. I'm incredibly grateful for the academy quality and culture at Chelsea to push these boys through.

"This is top, top quality. It is our job to let them play and push them – this is what Chelsea is all about."

Chelsea drew 1-1 with Manchester United on Thursday to move eight points ahead of fifth-placed Tottenham in the race for Champions League football.

Everton's focus is on surviving the drop, with Sunday's contest the first time they have started a league game in the relegation zone since December 2019.

The Toffees beat Chelsea 3-1 on that occasion and Tuchel is not taking anything for granted this weekend at a raucous Goodison Park.

"Everyone tells me about the atmosphere at Goodison – how emotional and tough it is to play there," the German said. "I'm excited to go there and we expect a tough fight."

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