London, Jan 26 (efe-epa).- Chelsea FC made it official Tuesday, signing Thomas Tuchel to an 18-month contract to coach the Blues a day after dismissing club legend Frank Lampard following a string of poor results that saw the team fall from the top of the Premier League to ninth place.
The 47-year-old German will be in charge of Tuesday’s practice and on the bench for Wednesday’s match against visiting Wolverhampton, the club said.
Tuchel was fired a month ago by Paris Saint-Germain after 2 1/2 years at the helm in which the team won Ligue 1 twice and reached the Champions League final.
His tenure with PSG was marked by squabbles with management and by a winning percentage of nearly 76 percent, the best in the history of Ligue 1.
Tuchel’s resume also includes winning the 2017 German Cup as coach of Borussia Dortmund.
Chelsea had been rumored to have their eye on Tuchel even prior to letting Lampard go.
“I would like to thank Chelsea FC for their confidence in me and my staff,” Tuchel said Tuesday. “We all have the greatest respect for Frank Lampard’s work and the legacy he created at Chelsea. At the same time, I cannot wait to meet my new team and compete in the most exciting league in football.”
Lampard, 42, Chelsea’s all-time leader in goals, took over as manager of the London club in July 2019, having previously managed Derby County.
“This has been a very difficult decision, and not one that the owner and the Board have taken lightly,” Chelsea Football Club said Monday in announcing it had parted ways with Lampard.
“We are grateful to Frank for what he has achieved in his time as Head Coach of the Club. However, recent results and performances have not met the Club’s expectations, leaving the Club mid-table without any clear path to sustained improvement.”
Though the Blues defeated Luton Town 3-1 Sunday in an FA Cup fourth round tie, they lost their last Premier League match against Leicester City.
“This was a very difficult decision for the Club, not least because I have an excellent personal relationship with Frank and I have the utmost respect for him,” Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich said.
The midfielder scored 211 goals in all competitions in more than 400 appearances for Chelsea between 2001-2014, winning three league titles and a Champions League trophy.
Lampard began his career at West Ham United and had short spells at Manchester City and New York City FC in MLS before retiring. EFE