Last Thursday was a day of returns in many respects. Gianluigi Buffon returned to Juventus, Phil Jagielka returned to Sheffield United, and the biggest news of all, Frank Lampard returned to Chelsea as the latest man through Roman Abramovich’s revolving managerial door.
Lampard is a little fortunate to get the job in some respects, since he hardly set the world alight taking Derby from 6th the previous season to 6th again despite the help of a few really talented loanees.
Clearly the former England star wouldn’t have got the job were it not for his links to the Blues, but in some respects the move makes sense. Lampard and Morris are likely to promote youth, something Chelsea need to do given their current transfer ban. He should also be able to lift the dressing room and command respect given what he achieved during his playing days.
To mark Lampard’s return to Stamford Bridge, we’re bringing back our series taking a look at 7 substitutes and where they are now, with Lampard’s last game for the Blues being the game in question here today. Lampard’s last Chelsea outing was a 0-0 draw with Norwich in the final Premier League game of the 2013-14 season, in which he started alongside the likes of Andre Schurrle, Demba Ba and some Egyptian kid called Mohamed Salah.
If you have any historic substitutes benches you’d like us to take a look at in future videos, let us know in the comments, and like the suggestions you’d like to see so we know which are the most popular. Here are the 7 Chelsea subs for Frank Lampard’s last Chelsea game: Where are they now?
7. Hilario – Chelsea Goalkeeping Coach
Following an injury to Petr Cech in the Champions League semi-final, Chelsea were without their number one for the end of the 2013-14 season. Mark Schwarzer was his replacement, whilst long-time Chelsea servant Hilario moved up from third to second choice in his final season with the club. As with Lampard, this was the last matchday squad Hilario was involved in with Chelsea, and the two will most likely be reunited at Chelsea this summer unless Lampard chooses to get rid of him, since Hilario is now a goalkeeping coach for the Blues.
6. Tomas Kalas – Bristol City
A serial loanee of the finest Chelsea vintage, Tomas Kalas spent nine years contracted to the club, during which time he made four appearances for the club and went out on-loan seven times. The 2013-14 season was the only campaign Kalas spent as a member of the Chelsea first team squad, and he registered 2 Premier League appearances. Now aged 26 and capped 19 times by the Czech Republic, Kalas finally left Chelsea on a permanent deal to Bristol City last month. An excellent centre-back at Championship level, the deal sees Kalas become Bristol City’s record signing, having forked out a reported £8 million to bring Kalas to Ashton Gate.
5. David Luiz – Chelsea
One of two players in this seven still contracted to Chelsea, David Luiz did leave the Blues and return between now and Frank Lampard’s last game for the club. In fact, this was the final game Luiz played for Chelsea in his first stint at the Bridge, making a big money move to PSG in the summer of 2014. He returned a couple of years later in another – admittedly slightly cheaper – big money move, and he is closing in on 250 appearances for the West Londoners.
4. Marco van Ginkel – Chelsea
The only other player in this seven who is still at Stamford Bridge, you could be forgiven for having forgotten about Marco van Ginkel. The 26-year-old joined Chelsea six years ago, but he’s only spent two seasons in West London. He has gone out on-loan to Stoke, AC Milan and, most notably, to PSV for two-and-a-half years. Van Ginkel has been sidelined for more than a year now with a knee injury, which meant he played 0 minutes of football last season.
3. Eden Hazard – Real Madrid
One of Chelsea’s all time greats, along with Frank Lampard no less, Eden Hazard gave seven years of fantastic service to the London club. How Frank Lampard will wish he had the chance to work with the world class Belgian next season, but Hazard left Chelsea in a record £89 million deal, which could rise to £150 million, to Real Madrid this summer. Hazard was benched for the last game of the 2013-14 season, but he was introduced at half-time in place of Mohamed Salah.
2. Samuel Eto’o – Qatar SC
Aged 38 but still going strong, you may recall that Samuel Eto’o celebrated like this whilst playing for Chelsea after it was reported that Jose Mourinho had raised question marks over his real age in a private conversation. Well, five years on from the Cameroon legends single season at the Bridge, and he has gone on to turn out for Everton, Sampdoria, Anatalyspor and Konyaspor. Now surely in the autumn of his career, Eto’o is currently contracted to Qatari Stars League outfit Qatar SC, where he has scored 6 goals in 16 games.
1. Fernando Torres – Sagan Tosu
He may be three years younger than Samuel Eto’o, but Fernando Torres has already set his sights on retiring. You could be fooled into thinking the World Cup winner had already called it a day following his retirement announcement, but he will actually play his final game on August 23rd against former team mates Andres Iniesta and David Villa who now play for Vissel Kobe. Torres spent five seasons at Chelsea following his £50 million move, and whilst he couldn’t replicate his finest Anfield form at the Bridge, he did score some hugely important goals for the Blues.