Frank Lampard could have easily gone for Aston Villa in a £ 15 million deal back in 2001. However, West Ham rejected the bid from the Midlands only to see the £ 11 million bid from Chelsea arrive a short while later. The rest, as they say, is history, but it could all end in the summer. Lampard, who turns 35 in the summer, has said that he expects to leave Chelsea at the end of this season.
After taking over as the interim Chelsea manager, Rafa Benitez dropped the bombshell by saying that he does not expect Lampard to remain a Chelsea player beyond this season. The England international is out of contract at the end of the season.
Even though there have been numerous reports suggesting that Chelsea have offered him only an one year deal whereas the player is holding for a two year contract, Lampard has now opened the lid on his contractual situation. He has said that he has not been offered ANY deal by Chelsea. This comes as the shocking news to Chelsea fans, who consider Lampard as an integral part of the club’s history.
The club only recently lost a legend in the form of Didier Drogba in the summer. It seems that Chelsea’s intent to reducing the age of the squad is showing no signs of slowing down.
However, I believe that the club are making a big mistake with regard to their decision over Lampard. Frank Lampard is one of the best professionals on and off the field. He is also extremely reliable and one cannot doubt his fitness as well. He is also a true leader, who can galvanise the team.
It is going to be mightily tough for Chelsea to find a replacement for Lampard. Money can’t buy some things. Lampard’s experience, goal scoring ability, leadership, stamina, influence on and off the pitch, and quality are some of them.
Here are some of the highlights from Lampard’s interview:
“There have been no talks about anything about an extension. The ball is in Chelsea’s court.
Maybe things don’t last forever. Although I want it to last forever, you have to be big enough to know what it is.
Whatever happens, I have had a great time at Chelsea. I am determined to play a few more years and see what pans out in the near future.
I can’t say enough for the Chelsea fans, who have always been amazing for me and the team.”