Premier League champions, Manchester City, have signed Chelsea legend Frank Lampard on a short-term loan deal. In what will probably be the most surprising piece of business in the transfer window, the loan deal will see the New York City player at the Etihad until mid-January.
This news is sure to come as a bit of a shock to Chelsea fans. Frank Lampard is Chelsea’s greatest ever goalscorer, and was with the Blues for 13 years. In this time he won the Premier League three times; the FA Cup four times; the League Cup two times and the Champions League and Europa League once apiece. He is Chelsea through and through, and arguably Chelsea’s greatest ever player.
To even begin to imagine Frank Lampard playing in a Manchester City shirt is almost unthinkable, but in a couple of weeks, this is exactly what we may be seeing. Nevertheless, Lampard is still a Chelsea icon.
According to former Chelsea player, Pat Nevin, Frank Lampard’s legend status at Stamford Bridge will not be tarnished by this deal. This is a statement which Blues fans will echo.
Essentially Lampard is looking to play – or at least train – somewhere where he can maintain his fitness before the start of the 2015 MLS season. Apparently he has had offers from one of Manchester City’s sister club, Melbourne FC, as well as QPR. Whether he gets regular playing time for the Citizens remains to be seen, but just training in Manchester will put him in good stead for the 2015 MLS season.
Another aspect of the deal is that playing in England will keep Lampard under the radar of England manager Roy Hodgson, with Lampard yet to say that he has retired from the international game.
The links between New York City and Manchester City have certainly played a part in the loan deal. New York City are Manchester City’s other sister club, and ultimately both clubs can play the role of feeder club to one another.
Undoubtedly this deal is one of the most unlikely and surprising in a long time. But whatever Lampard does for Manchester City he is still a Chelsea icon, and will always remain so.