Frank Lampard is reportedly on his way to the MLS, having agreed a deal to join Major League Soccer’s latest addition New York City FC. The England international is going to turn 36 later this month and it is clear to one and all that he is past his best.
However, former Tottenham Hotspur manager Harry Redknapp believes that the Blues should have still kept him. The Queens Park Rangers boss says that Lampard’s “character” would have been an example for the younger players in the Chelsea squad.
‘Absolutely I would keep him at Chelsea’, Sky Sports quotes the 67-year-old as saying. ‘He's worth his weight in gold just to be around the place. I think Roy Hodgson feels the same. You need good characters around whether it is England or your football club. You've got Steven Gerrard and Lampard with England - proper guys that the youngsters can look up to’.
Lampard joined Chelsea from West Ham United in 2001 and went on to establish himself as one of the best players in the world. One of the most prolific goalscoring midfielders the game has ever seen, he is actually Chelsea’s all-time record scorer and has been consistent throughout his career. That is attested by the fact that at almost 36, he remains a vital part of the England national team.
However, last season under Jose Mourinho, Lampard’s importance in the team started to dwindle, as he made only 20 Premier League starts in a trophyless campaign for the Blues. Although Lampard still has the legs, perhaps Chelsea thought that it was time for them to move him on and create space for younger and more energetic players.
Will Chelsea come to regret letting one of the all-time great players leave? Only time will tell.