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Frank Lampard would still be Chelsea manager had he snapped up Jack Grealish in the summer transfer window of 2020, claims Blues legend Alan Hudson.
Attacking additions formed part of that squad refresh, with Germany internationals Timo Werner and Kai Havertz snapped up from RB Leipzig and Bayer Leverkusen respectively.
Big things were expected of the pair, but they have struggled to produce their best on a Premier League stage and contributed to another managerial change being made.
Lampard has been forced to pass that baton on to Thomas Tuchel, but Hudson believes a Blues icon would still be at the helm had he looked closer to home for creative inspiration on the recruitment front.
“I know Frank, used to know him well until becoming manager, and had I been his adviser I would have told him to buy Jack Grealish,” Hudson toldCaughtOffside.
“And I mention this because Jack has just learned the ins out outs of top-level football, and he’s 25 years of age – that’s how long it takes today, not 18 months.
“Had Frank signed Jack he’d still be the Chelsea manager. That’s the difference – Jack makes things happen, he knows the game, not like these kids, who are players in waiting.”
While suggesting that Lampard could have done more to save his job, Hudson is pleased to have seen Tuchel mix things up across his two games at the helm – with tactical and personnel changes being made.
“It is no secret that, when it comes to managers, Roman Abramovich is trigger happy, but his money gives him that finger to pull it, and my initial thoughts were ‘I wonder how long this one will last?'” Hudson added.
“You could see by team selections in his first two matches this ‘outsider’ has started with a clean slate, unlike Frank, he has an open mind from Billy Gilmour to Marcos Alonso – everyone begins on level terms. That I like!
“He has introduced what you might call a complete mix-up, where now players don’t know what’s coming next as he gets to know them.
“I find it interesting and I find his reaction after the Wolves game rather weird, if not wonderful. This might well be the ‘key’ as he walked on the field after one of the dullest football matches almost as if he’d never watched a match before, smiling as if they’d won the Champions League, quite bewildering but somewhat refreshing.
“I think all of his changes were to see how these players react to his selection, another test. He seems very astute.
“I saw things in the Burnley match, like when Alonso scored that would not have happened under Frank – a happy bunch of players. Tuchel has an iron fist and will take no nonsense from players.
“It’s going to be very interesting because everyone above them is slipping up. I fancied Brighton big time against Tottenham, and that result following Chelsea’s great confidence booster couldn’t have come at a better time.