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Wilkins returns to Stamford Bridge

Chelsea have appointed former Stamford Bridge star Ray Wilkins as the club's new assistant first-team coach following the departure of Steve Clarke to West Ham United. Wilkins, who first joined Chelsea as a schoolboy and made 198 appearances from 1973 to 1979, teams up with manager Luiz Felipe in time for the visit of another of his former clubs Manchester United on Sunday.

Scolari had been anxious to maintain a British element to his backroom team, having brought a trio with him from his old job with Portugal, believing a knowledge of the domestic game is invaluable.

Wilkins, 52, has previously worked as an ambassador for Chelsea and helped the club to win the FA Cup and Charity Shield in 2000 as a coach under ex-Blues boss Gianluca Vialli. The former AC Milan player also has experience as a manager with Fulham and QPR.

"He brings with him a wealth of expertise and experience from his time in British and European football," Chelsea said in a statement.

Scolari was disappointed by Clarke's move to West Ham to become Gianfranco Zola's No 2 and Chelsea eventually held out for compensation is excess of £1 million.

Zola, a former Chelsea favourite himself, created the opening for Wilkin's return to Stamford Bridge and thinks the his old club have got the right man to replace Clarke.

Zola said: "I am sure he will do well. He has the knowledge to do the job and knows the Premier League very well.

"And he is a very humble man so I am sure he will be very helpful for Scolari.

"He knows the club and the supporters. He can do a great job and he is a very good man. I worked with him for a few years and it was always a pleasure.''


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