Frank Lampard has been confirmed as the new manager of Derby County, signing a three-year deal with the Sky Bet Championship club.
Derby had been searching for a new manager following the departure of Gary Rowett to Championship rivals Stoke last week and have opted for the 39-year-old in what is his first managerial role.
“I’ve always wanted to manage a club with a big tradition and history like Derby County, so this is a huge opportunity,” said Lampard, in a statement released on the club’s website.
“I have spent considerable time discussing the role and the club’s objectives with the chairman and board members.
“We want to build on the club’s top six finish in the Championship last season, while at the same time bringing through some of the excellent youth and Academy talent we have at Pride Park.
“This is my first job as a manager, but I’ve worked closely with some of the best coaches in the game and I’m confident in my own abilities and those of the team around me, including the board.
“I know it won’t be easy – managing a football team never is – but I’m really looking forward to the challenge ahead.”
Jody Morris, who has led Chelsea’s U18s to the FA Youth Cup in successive seasons, is expected to join Lampard as part of his coaching staff at Pride Park.
The former Chelsea, West Ham and England midfielder was interviewed twice by Ipswich earlier this summer, but the Tractor Boys opted to appoint Paul Hurst as their new manager.
Lampard – capped 106 times by England – enjoyed a trophy-laden playing career winning three Premier League titles, four FA Cups, two League Cups, the Europa League and the Champions League.
Derby executive chairman Mel Morris says Lampard was the “stand-out” candidate for the vacant role at Pride Park.
“I’m delighted to have someone of Frank’s calibre as our new manager,” said Morris. “I’ve always been an admirer of Frank both as a player and a person, especially in the way he conducts himself both on and off the pitch.
“That impression was only reinforced when we interviewed him for this role, his passion and humility shone through in equal measure. The board were unanimous that he was the stand-out applicant with many highly desirable and unique capabilities.
“Few players have achieved what Frank has in his career to date. He’s a winner, a leader who knows what it takes to succeed and who has the character and charisma to be a fantastic manager for us.”
Derby ended the 2017/18 campaign in sixth place, but failed to gain promotion via the play-offs, losing to Fulham in the semi-finals.
Lampard’s former England team-mate Steven Gerrard also took his first step into first-team management this month, becoming the new boss of Scottish Premiership side Rangers.