Former Chelsea manager Frank Lampard has admitted he had two big-name midfield transfer targets when he was in charge at Stamford Bridge.
The 44-year-old, now in charge of Premier League strugglers Everton, has spoken about England stars Jude Bellingham and Declan Rice as we prepare for the Three Lions to kick off their World Cup campaign today.
Lampard is clearly a big fan of them both, as he says he was keen to sign Bellingham and Rice for Chelsea when he was the manager there.
He told KEEPUP, as quoted by the Sun: “He’s crucial for England – an outstanding talent.
“He’s more experienced and talented than his years show – to do what he’s done at the top level already.
Bellingham has gone from strength to strength since leaving Birmingham City for Borussia Dortmund at a young age, and it’s easy to imagine he could have had a great impact at a club like Chelsea.
“I tried to sign him when I was at Chelsea actually – unfortunately it didn’t happen but I wanted to sign him and Declan Rice.
“That’ll be England’s midfield probably during this tournament.”
“There’s a lot of expectation so we’ll have to be a bit steady with him but the way he’s played and performed, he has a real maturity about him.
“Not much will faze him so I expect him to go and have a good tournament.”
Rice, meanwhile, has also shone at West Ham, and was released by Chelsea’s academy when he was a youngster, so it could be a good move for them to bring him back.
Lampard was eventually sacked by CFC but it’s interesting to think about what he could have achieved with the club if he’d had signings like this come in.