Speculation over Frank Lampard’s future has ended, with the Chelsea veteran signing a one-year contract extension with the Stamford Bridge club. The England international’s deal in west London was due to expire this summer, with the Blues stalling on a new contract for the midfielder.
However, amid speculation that Lampard could move to Manchester United, LA Galaxy and numerous others, Roman Abramovich has delayed the stalwart’s departure for another 12 months.
Given how late Chelsea have left it, and the fact that Lampard was free to sign a pre-contract agreement with any other club, the odds with Unibet were shortening on the player leaving Stamford Bridge in the summer.
Abramovich will more than likely splash the cash this summer and has a transfer policy aimed at youth, however the decision to keep Lampard at the club looks like a good one.
It is fair to say that the veteran, who will be 35 at the start of next season, has not played as essential a role at the club over the last two seasons.
He was once undroppable and one of the first names on the Chelsea team sheet, however now he must compete with the likes of Ramires, Jon Obi Mikel and David Luiz for a starting berth in the centre of the park.
Despite Lampard now being subject to a squad rotation system, the influential midfielder has ended up as the club’s top scorer in the Premier League this term with 15 goals to date. His ability to inject some urgency and energy to the side’s midfield has not diminished with age, and his leadership ability is there for all to see.
Don’t be surprised should Chelsea sign a big-name central midfield player this summer, which may limit Lampard’s opportunities to play further. However, keeping the veteran at the club is a sensible move. Chelsea have a number of exciting youngsters coming through the ranks, none more promising than Nathaniel Chalobah, who will benefit from Lampard’s presence should he return to the club from his loan spell at Watford.
Lampard’s influence extends further than his role on the pitch, and the rest of the Chelsea squad look up to the long-termer for direction. Had Lampard moved to Manchester United, which was being suggested in some avenues of the press, Chelsea would have lost one of their main men, and subsequently strengthened a title rival.
Frank Lampard‘s history at the club was enough to warrant a contract extension, but it is more than sentimentality that keeps his in west London. With new and young players forming the guts of Chelsea’s title challenge next term, the club will be glad to have Mr Dependable there to count on.