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Lampard names ‘winner’ as unsung hero in Chelsea evolution

Chelsea manager Frank Lampard believes their “real strength” at board level will boost the Blues’ continued summer recruitment drive.

The Stamford Bridge boss hailed his close working relationship with directors Marina Granovskaia and Petr Cech, as the west Londoners eye a close-season squad reshuffle.

Prolific Germany striker Timo Werner and Morocco’s assist king Hakim Ziyech are already in place ahead of next term, with Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Kai Havertz remaining keen on a Stamford Bridge switch.

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Chelsea could replace goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga and have long-term interests in both Leicester left-back Ben Chilwell and West Ham’s Declan Rice.

Previous Chelsea bosses Antonio Conte and Maurizio Sarri endured fractious relationships with the board but Lampard’s former Blues team-mate Cech has bridged any divide.

Chelsea have already reaped the rewards of Cech’s role with the captures of Werner and Ziyech and Lampard believes extra fringe benefits will continue to shine through.

“In terms of on the grass and on the training pitch and working with players and all around the game and how we prepare, I feel that’s somewhere where my playing experience helped me a huge amount because I was trying to take things in all the time,” said Lampard.

“But relationships with people upstairs, they are different so I have to say I am very happy to have Petr here because I know him so well, because we get on well, because I trust and value his world and how we speak.

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“There is a real honesty about how we work and how we can speak to each other.

“I trust that he’s been a winner and he knows what it takes to win and I think we have something in common over how we have a real desire to get to that.

“So, yeah, it’s felt like a real strength for us this year.

“We will be judged, of course, on results as we move forwards but it will certainly not be for the want of trying that we want to bring success to the club.”

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