By Matt Farr
Slaven Bilic has opened the door to former West Ham midfielder Frank Lampard making a sensational return to his boyhood club.
The 38-year-old announced his retirement from football on Thursday, and is now set to take the first steps into carving out a coaching career.
The Sun report that Hammers boss Slaven Bilic, who played with Lampard at West Ham, is willing to welcome his former team-mate into his coaching setup.
The former England international began his career at West Ham, making 187 appearances for the club in all competitions, scoring 39 goals.
Bilic believes that Lampard would be the perfect role model to his younger players, and could show them exactly what it takes for them to achieve success in their careers.
He told the Sun: “Frank is always very welcome in our club and I am sure he will be like he was in his football career and will be serious in his managerial career.
“He is one of the ambassadors, one of the legends of the Premier League. What he achieved is purely unbelievable and he kept his feet on the ground. He is a gentleman and a top player.
“He did not rely only on his talent. I remember him staying after every session – not once a week – he was having shooting practice and doing shuttle runs to improve.
“He is maybe the greatest example to show youngsters of what you have to do to be successful.”
With top-flight spells at Chelsea and Manchester City to follow his West Ham stint, Lampard finished his playing career with 609 Premier League appearances, the third-highest in the league’s history.
Meanwhile, he is also the fourth-highest goalscorer with 177 goals, and the only midfielder in the top 10. Only Alan Shearer, Wayne Rooney and Andrew Cole have scored more.
At international level, he made 106 appearances for England, making him the joint-seventh most-capped player. He appeared at three World Cups and two European Championships.
West Ham would no doubt benefit from having such a vastly-experienced ex-player within their ranks.
In other West Ham news, Slaven Bilic is expected to make at least two changes to his side to face Southampton on Saturday.