Thiago Silva and Reece James have said their final goodbyes to Frank Lampard, thanking the axed Chelsea boss for “everything” he’s done for them during his first few months in west London. Chelsea announced their decision to dismiss Lampard on Monday on the back of a disastrous run of domestic results.
The Blues were labeled Premier League and Champions League contenders after a 17-match unbeaten streak earlier in the season, but a 1-0 loss to Everton in early December sparked a dramatic downturn in fortunes.
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Lampard saw his side pick up just two wins from their last eight top-flight matches, with five defeats recorded during that period that led to question marks over his credentials. Chelsea has slipped to ninth in the table since their 2-0 defeat at Leicester on January 19, 11 points behind pacesetters Manchester United and five adrift of the Champions League places, with the board, ultimately deciding that a change was necessary to halt the decline.
Lampard was given a £200 million ($274m) war chest in the summer transfer window, which he spent on Hakim Ziyech, Timo Werner, Kai Havertz, Ben Chilwell, and Edouard Mendy, but none of those new recruits have been as successful at the Bridge as supporters would have hoped. Silva, who arrived at Chelsea on a free transfer in August, has been the most valuable addition to the squad despite recently turning 36, making 18 appearances across all competitions.
The Brazilian says Lampard played a key role in helping him to settle into his new surroundings and has expressed his gratitude towards the departing manager via social media. “I would like to thank you for everything you and your team have done for me since the day I arrived,” Silva wrote on Instagram. “As I told you, it seemed like we had been working together for 10 years! Thank you very much for everything, legend.”
Silva was snapped up by Chelsea after leaving Paris Saint-Germain at the end of the 2019-20 campaign, where he played under German head coach Thomas Tuchel. The two men are set to reunite at the Bridge later this week, with Ghanabet reporting that Tuchel has verbally agreed to fill Lampard’s boots after being relieved of his duties at PSG in December.
James meanwhile was a number of Chelsea academy products given a chance in the first-team under Lampard, along with Mason Mount and Tammy Abraham.
The England right-back wrote on Instagram: “As a Chelsea fan growing up I’ve always looked up to you, idolised you. I can’t explain what it’s been like to play under you, the whole journey has been surreal. I cannot thank you enough for putting your trust into me and giving me the opportunity to play for my boyhood club!
“Thank you so much for all you have taught me, which I will continue to use throughout the rest of my career. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to live my dream! I’ll forever be thankful.”