Everton boss Frank Lampard hails Celtic star he tried to sign at Chelsea
Everton manager Frank Lampard has revealed that he attempted to sign one of Ange Postecoglou’s key Celtic stars for Chelsea.
Lampard was manager of his boyhood club from 2019-2021, eventually being replaced by Thomas Tuchel, before taking the Everton job almost exactly a year later at the start of 2022, and admitted after his side’s penalty shootout win over Celtic that he tried to sign Joe Hart for Chelsea.
Hart has revived his career in Glasgow after a difficult few years following his exit from Manchester City, and his success for Celtic is no surprise to his former teammate at both club and international level.
Speaking in his post match press conference posted to Everton’s YouTube channel, Lampard said: “When I was at Chelsea I wanted to bring Hart in as a number two as such at the time because I was sure that his professionalism, and quality as a player would rub off on the group.
“So, I understand why he’s done so well at Celtic, top class goalkeeper, and a top class lad, so I’m really pleased to see him do well.”
“He was a mature lad when I was playing with him at (Manchester) City and with England and to move to the clubs that he has done in the end part of his career and sometimes not be starting but still be a good influence and then to go to Celtic and start and play at a high level, I think it’s proof of the character of him as well as his quality.”
Lampard also explained his side’s defensive approach against Celtic that eventually secured a 0-0 draw and shootout win.
“It was a tough game, had a bit of jetlag in our bodies, so Celtic were more prepared on that front, but I thought we showed a lot of spirit,” he said.
“We played a back five against a possession team like Celtic which meant you have to sit back, it wasn’t the worst tactic for us today because of the jetlag and the travel and all of those things, I think to try and play a high press would be a difficult ask of the players in dry, hot conditions so it meant the game plan was pretty clear.
“We created the best chances of the game, Celtic had a couple of good ones second half, but until half-time we created two of the best chances of the game and then in the second half we had some really good moments.”
Joe Hart has been around for such a length of time that many will have forgotten that he and Lampard even played together at club level, with their experience at international tournaments for England far more well-known.
The Celtic number one regularly garners rave reviews for his attitude and application from those who have previously worked with him in the English game, and the tribute from his ex-teammate is just the latest.
Though some might wonder how different both their careers would look now had Hart joined Lampard at Chelsea, the goalkeeper is unlikely to have any regrets given how well it’s gone for him under Postecoglou at Celtic.