It looks increasingly likely that Frank Lampard will be allowed to leave Chelsea at the end of the season and no matter what Chelsea fans may think about that the time has come to start planning for a future without the soon-to-be record goalscorer for the club.
One player who is appearing to sneak under the cracks of all but a few of Europe’s biggest clubs is Joao Moutinho. Recently talkSPORT mentioned he could be a natural successor to Paul Scholes at Manchester United and mentioned him in the same breath as Andrea Pirlo, Andres Iniesta and Xavi in terms of midfield brilliance this season.
I do not agree with talkSPORT on much but on this occasion I had little choice.
After watching his performance against Malaga it seemed the years of criticism of his game have only moved to make him an all-round better player. He is quite literally everywhere during that tie.
One minute he was tracking back and winning a ball he had no right to even contemplate coming out with and the next he was up the other end of the pitch playing a defence splitting pass; he also scored the winning goal in the 1-0 triumph.
His technical skills are something to be marvelled at but those attributes were always there; even when it was only Everton pursuing his signature.
He has added nearly one or two different dimensions to his game since then and all of them could be used at Stamford Bridge.
With all the talk of buying a striker it is easy to forget that the side are also lacking in central midfield. David Luiz has played there recently but with Lampard on his way out and Oriol Romeu in support of John Obi Mikel it is a position they need to strengthen this summer.
Of course they will face competition from Tottenham.
Andre Villas Boas tried to reunite himself with his former Porto stalwart this summer only for the deal to fall apart due to third-party ownership difficulties. At the end of January Porto restructured that previous contract meaning they now have the sole rights to the players registration making a sale a much more clean cut move.
Spurs have since signed Lewis Holtby which may impact on their decision to splash the cash on the Portuguese international.
If they do stall Chelsea would be remiss to not sneak in and sign an absolutely top-class replacement for Frank Lampard ahead of their London rivals.
Do you think Joao Moutinho could do a job for Chelsea?
image: © goulao