Thomas Tuchel is Chelsea’s new manager
Chelsea have named Thomas Tuchel as their new manager on an 18-month contract with an option to extend it.
The former Paris St-Germain boss won two league titles, French Cup and the French League Cup at PSG.
“I cannot wait to meet my new team and compete in the most exciting league in football. I am grateful to be part of the Chelsea family,” Tuchel, 47, said.
Chelsea sacked Frank Lampard on Monday after 18 months in charge, following a run of one win in five league matches.
“We all have the greatest respect for Frank Lampard’s work and the legacy he created at Chelsea,” added Tuchel.
The German becomes the 11th full-time manager appointed by Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich since the billionaire bought the club in 2003.
Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia described Tuchel as “one of Europe’s best coaches” adding that “there is still much to play for and much to achieve, this season and beyond”.
Tuchel’s task will be to get the best out of German compatriots Timo Werner and Kai Havertz, who have struggled to live up to their price tags in their first few months in England.
Despite guiding Paris Saint-Germain to their first Champions League final in August, Tuchel was sacked himself by the French champions last month.
His falling out with PSG sporting director Leonardo played a large part in that and his habit of fractious relations with his employers does not bode well for his prospects at a club with such a famously impatient owner.
“Tuchel will be exposed to exactly the same rules as Frank,” said Lampard’s former England team-mate Gary Neville.
“We’ll be talking about him being let go in the next 18 months to two years, I’m pretty sure of that.”
Tuchel previously held talks with Chelsea over replacing Antonio Conte after he left Dortmund in 2017.
Instead, he ended up in the French capital, where he won back-to-back league titles and ended PSG’s run of crashing out the Champions League in the last 16.
Chelsea face a daunting last-16 tie when the Champions League returns next month against La Liga leaders Atletico Madrid.
Tuchel also has to win round the Chelsea support that have been upset at the handling of Lampard’s dismissal.
“Absolutely gutted. Frank Lampard is, and always will be, a legend of Chelsea Football Club,” the Chelsea Supporters’ Trust tweeted on his departure.
Lampard achieved a fourth-place finish in his first season in charge to secure a place in the Champions League despite a transfer ban and the sale of Eden Hazard to Real Madrid.
However, his Premier League points-per-game average of 1.67 is the lowest for any Chelsea manager in the Abramovich era.
“I am disappointed not to have had the time this season to take the club forward and bring it to the next level,” said Lampard.
He will be in the dugout at Stamford Bridge for Wednesday’s Premier League meeting with Wolves (18:00 GMT).
Tuchel will not be exempt from coronavirus quarantine rules but will be granted an exemption by the Football Association to attend matches and training should he test negative before entering the UK, and then do so once again to enter a Premier League club’s bubble.