Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 9 December 2019

Frank Lampard 'very happy' with Chelsea squad amid transfer ban restrictions

Premier League club are in Japan to continue their pre-season and will play J-League side Kawasaki Frontale on Friday

Chelsea manager Frank Lampard insists he is "very happy" with his squad despite not being able to sign new players following the departure of Eden Hazard.

Lampard, 41, was appointed Chelsea manager earlier this month, making a return to the club where he spent 13 hugely successful years and became their all-time leading goalscorer.

However, the former England midfielder faces an immediate challenge at the club, with a two-window transfer ban in place meaning he cannot replace Belgian forward Hazard, who moved to Real Madrid after a season in which he was by far Chelsea's standout player.

Yet, Lampard has said he has full confidence in the squad at his disposal, which has been reinforced by Christian Pulisic, who was signed for €60 million (Dh247m) in January before being loaned back to Borussia Dortmund.

"I think I inherited very good players. We cannot bring in any players we know that, but I'm very happy with the squad," Lampard told reporters at a press conference ahead of Chelsea's pre-season friendly against J-League side Kawasaki Frontale.

"My job now is to work hard in pre-season with them. I like my teams to play with a lot of energy and speed, with and without the ball, so I want to win it back as quickly as we can," he said.

Lampard declined to reveal the line-up for the two friendlies on Chelsea's calendar, which includes a much-anticipated face-off against Barcelona next Tuesday.

Much has been made of Lampard's status at Chelsea from his playing days, but the new manager is more focused on the future.

"For me the story is not to look backwards," he said. "I know the club very well, I know the players very well. I have my own way that I want to work with the players."

Chelsea face Kawasaki Frontale at the Nissan Stadium on Friday, before taking on Barcelona at the Saitama Stadium four days later.

The Europa League champions continue their pre-season back in England with a friendly against Championship side Reading on July 28 and then travel to Austria to play Red Bull Salzburg on July 31. Their last scheduled pre-season game is against German Bundesliga club Borussia Monchengladbach on August 3.

Chelsea begin their Premier League campaign with a trip to Old Trafford to take on Manchester United on August 11.

Updated: July 16, 2019 04:02 PM