With 6 months remaining on his contract and no negotiations in progress, it appears Chelsea are calling time on Frank Lampard's career at Stamford Bridge
Article by Podcast host Colin Sowerby
Let’s be frank, at the age of 34, Frank Lampard won’t be getting any faster or stronger from this point onwards. However, Chelsea would be foolhardy to let a player of Lampard’s calibre walk out of the door.
It’s not all about youth and pace. A team needs a presence of experience and footballing intelligence – a ‘wise head’. This is what Lampard brings to the table. How important is a ‘wise head’? Ask Aston Villa, a club with young raw talent but all too often, severely lacking in direction on the pitch and too easy to wilt under the pressure when the going gets tough.
A successful club is one that only lets quality players go once they have passed their sell by date. You can never be sure exactly when that day will come in a player’s career, but once he’s passed that date, it becomes obvious very quickly. That day has not yet come for Frank Lampard.
Indeed, this is something that Chelsea should be acutely aware of. Chelsea still miss the presence of Didier Drogba, also 34. This was confirmed when the club approached Shanghai Shenhua with the hope of securing Drogba on a loan.
Allowing a club legend’s contract to simply expire and not be renewed would anger the Chelsea faithful. Furthermore, it could be an embarrassment for Chelsea. Imagine if Lampard turned up at Old Trafford (Sir Alex Ferguson is a long-time admirer of Frank) and gets another 2 or 3 years out of him? After all, he’s done it before with Paul Scholes, 38, and Ryan Giggs, 39.
There is no point in discussing Lampard’s statistics and career so far to date. It’s not necessary - everyone is acutely aware that Frank Lampard is the most efficient goal scoring midfielder to have ever graced the Premier League.
In response to Lampard’s agent’s comments that he would be leaving Stamford Bridge, John Terry today said “Devastated is an understatement. We should retire the number 8 shirt in honour of Lamps”. Such a comment from a fellow Captain of the club, highlights the huge void in Chelsea FC that would be created by the loss of Frank Lampard.
There is a lot of mileage left in the tank, and there is more to come from Frank Lampard. One thing is certain, if Chelsea fail to keep Lampard, there will be a list of impressive suitors waiting to take him off their hands when his contract expires.