After a chaotic, tedious and far too public search to replace Rafael Benitez, Everton have finally got their man.
Frank Lampard emerged as the stand-out candidate from the recruitment process, and is now tasked with saving the club from relegation.
The former Derby and Chelsea boss signs a two-and-a-half-year deal at Goodison Park having seen off Vitor Pereira and Duncan Ferguson in the final round of interviews. Out of management since he was sacked by Chelsea just over a year ago, he must waste no time in getting to work.
Everton are 16th in the Premier League having secured 19 points from 20 matches, with the side starting 2022 with three Premier League defeats. A 2-1 loss to embattled Norwich was the final nail in the coffin of much-maligned manager Benitez and came just days after the club allowed France international Lucas Digne to join Aston Villa.
With barely hours now left of the January transfer window, Lampard will have already assessed the playing squad and identified where improvements must be made. It sits atop his in-tray, and the only place he can start as Sky Sports looks at what awaits the new Everton manager.
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Address defensive shortcomings
One of Benitez’s final acts was to sell Digne having signed Ukraine international Vitalii Mykolenko as his replacement, but the left-back was left out of the matchday squad during the Villa loss.
Mykolenko will require a period of adaptation that the international break will hopefully afford him, but Lampard will call upon the more senior members of his squad to take greater responsibility in addressing a leaky defence.