When former Blues great Frank Lampard took his first step into football management with Derby County early in the summer, there was always this idea that he was gonna raid his former club, Chelsea, for talent in a bid to guide The Rams back to the English top tier for the first time since the 2007-2008 season.
To start with, the ex-Blues midfielder made off with luring Jody Morris, who was the Chelsea youth coach, into Pride Park to become his number two. If Lampard’s vast experience as a player was as strong a pull already is into playing under his tutelage, Morris joining him meant together they possessed the gravitational tug to suck the highly-rated teenagers at Chelsea’s youth academy into Derby County.
Indeed, 19-year-old Mason Mount and 20-year-old Fikayo Tomori were prised by the Blues legend into going under his guidance at Derby this summer, with Mount, Golden Ball winner of the UEFA U-19 tournament in 2017, especially making an impressive start in England’s second tier.
Apart from the two talented youngsters, Lampard recently revealed he also tried to sign another budding Chelsea player on loan this summer and it’s none other than 17-year-old Ethan Ampadu. Unfortunately for the ex-Blues favourite, Maurizio Sarri rated Ampadu highly as well and ultimately blocked a loan move for the Welsh defender.
Speaking with the Derby Telegraph, the 40-year-old Derby manager said: “I looked at him (Ampadu). I spoke to the (Chelsea) manager and he told me he wants him in their squad, so it was a very short conversation. I was very impressed with Sarri. I think he is a great manager, great character. He was very nice to me about it. Quite rightly, he probably wants Ampadu as part of his squad. He is a fantastic talent. It was a question (we asked), and we have fully moved on.”
The former Exeter ace is a highly-regarded player for both club and country and when the big-haired youngster put in an excellent shift for Wales’ 4-1 victory over the Republic of Ireland in the UEFA Nations League, Lampard, who watched the game, expressed his admiration for Ampadu.
“I shed a tear when he played so well! I know him, and similar to Mason Mount, he is a young player with real ability and a fantastic attitude,” added Lampard.