Antonio Conte gives verdict on Frank Lampard as he teases potential future Chelsea return

Former Chelsea manager Antonio Conte thinks Frank Lampard is the right man to lead the club and thinks the incumbent boss has a “strong” squad capable of contending in “many, many competitions”.

Conte left the Blues in the summer of 2018 and was sacked in July despite winning the FA Cup two months earlier.

The Italian ultimately paid the price for Chelsea finishing fifth in the Premier League, failing to secure Champions League qualification despite winning the title the season prior.

The 51-year-old, now at Inter Milan, was replaced by Sarri but his compatriot left Stamford Bridge after just 12 months despite winning the Europa League and finishing third in England’s top flight.

He was replaced by legendary former Chelsea midfielder Lampard, who steered the Londoners to a fourth-placed finish despite being banned from making signings and the club losing Eden Hazard to Real Madrid before the manager returned to his old club.

But Conte is a big fan of Lampard and thinks he is “the right coach” with Chelsea just three points off top spot after eight games of the current campaign.

Following a £250million summer spend which incorporated a raft of exciting attacking additions, Lampard is hoping to prove he can turn Chelsea back into a title-challenging team, and Conte thinks the current Blues boss has a deep squad capable of having a good run at major titles.

“I think that the club wants to come back to win,” Conte told The Telegraph while discussing Chelsea’s progress under Lampard.

“I think, honestly, now in this moment Chelsea is a really good team, a strong team, a large squad to face many, many competitions.

“They worked very well and in this moment they have many, many players. I remember when I arrived at Chelsea and the situation wasn’t this.

“Because I remember in my first season, we faced the season with only 16 players. But, in this year, the club worked very well.

“I know they are doing a really good job because I continue to follow Chelsea. I am a fan.

“Lampard is, for sure, doing a good job and he knows very well the club because he’s a legend for Chelsea.

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“I think it was the same when I started with Juventus because I knew very well the club and the way that you had to follow to reach your target. Lampard is the right coach for Chelsea.”

Conte has meanwhile teased his desire to return to the Premier League following his two-year spell at Stamford Bridge.

He is currently looking to dethrone Juventus, who have won the last nine straight Serie A titles, while with Inter but is open to coming back to England in the future.

And Conte may well want a fresh challenge with Chelsea, who have shown previously they are open to giving coaches a second chance under Roman Abramovich with Jose Mourinho.

“I have this season and another year of my contract at Inter and I started a project here, and, honestly, I want to continue this project and stay for many years because we are building the bases,” Conte added.

“But, for sure, in my future, I want to come back to England to have another experience because I enjoyed my stay there a lot and to breathe the atmosphere in England.

“For me, for my family, I’d like to one day come back to England because we lived an incredible experience and we want to continue to have another experience in England.”

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