Micah Richards thinks that forgotten man Marcos Alonso will become a “vital player” for Thomas Tuchel at Chelsea.
Spanish full-back Alonso slipped down the pecking order last year under Lampard, and had been even more out of the frame this season.
However, Alonso has featured in four of Tuchel’s five games in charge, playing at left-back and in left-midfield.
And Richards, who spent time with Alonso at Fiorentina, insists that the 30-year-old’s versatility will be key to Tuchel, as well as his goal scoring ability which he showed in the win over Burnley.
“When I played with him at Fiorentina he could play as one of those in a three at the back or as one of the wing-backs,” Richards told BBC Sport.
“I like him in this position, the wing-back role, because he always gets into these areas [the penalty area] causing havoc.
“He is one of the fittest players I have ever played with. He gives the ball and always goes on the outside. He has got great quality, a good left foot in terms of his technique and the way he plays the ball.
“But he always runs into this space, here [into the left side of the penalty area]. If you look at this for a finish [vs Burnley], it is technically amazing. He has the composure to bring it down, one touch, two touch and the third one puts it in the back of the net.
“Under Tuchel, he will be a vital player, because he can play in so many positions.”
Alonso scored his first goal in almost a year with a fine strike in the 2-0 win over Burnley.
And the experienced left-footer admits that he was lucky to have everything go right for him to put the ball in the back of the net.
“It was a nice one,” he said in Chelsea’s matchday programme for Monday’s clash with Newcastle. “To come back with a goal makes it even more special to be back on the pitch. The most important thing was to get the three points, and it was great to score too.
“I don’t think Christian was trying to find me, but I tried to get close to the goal and when I saw his cross was coming in my direction, I just tried to do my best.
“I took my first touch, it was not enough, so then I had to take another, and then I was lucky the ball passed the goalkeeper because he was a big man and it wasn’t easy to put the ball up there, where it was out of his reach.
“To do it all right, in the right moment, it’s something that only happens a few times. As I said, I was lucky to make it possible at that point.”