Frank Lampard has revealed his excitement at the prospect of linking up with Spanish striker David Villa at New York City FC next season, after the pair became the MLS expansion side's first Designated Player signings this summer.
A joint venture between Manchester City and MLB’s New York Yankees, who together paid a reported $100 million for the club's expansion rights, NYCFC were officially announced as the league's 20th franchise in May 2013, and are set for their inaugural season in 2015.
In the meantime, Lampard has joined their Premier League backers on loan for the first-half of the 2014-15 campaign, but admits he can't wait to feature alongside the former Barcelona hitman, who himself is spending time with fellow sister club Melbourne City FC before returning to the States in January to begin pre-season training.
'I can’t wait to play with him because there’s nothing better as a midfielder player than when you’ve got a sharp, quick striker looking to make the right runs in front of you,' he told the Men in Blazers during an interview on the club's official Youtube channel.
'I played with Didier Drogba for years and it was an absolute pleasure because when I looked up he was already on his way through the defence, so I really can't wait.'
Leaving Chelsea this summer after scoring a club record 211 goals in 648 games over 13 seasons, Lampard fielded numerous offers from major European sides following the expiration of his contract, but revealed that the growing reputation of MLS was what convinced him to make the stateside switch.
'In the dressing rooms now back in Europe the players are talking about MLS,' he said. 'They’re watching it on TV – people probably wouldn’t have done that a few years ago.
'David Beckham really started that whole ball rolling. People are sitting up and taking notice that players are coming over to sign, and that there’s more quality going into the league than ever before.
'When I come away from this I’d love to see young American talent develop because that’s hugely important as well,' he added. 'Soccer’s really big here at a younger age but then you lose them to other sports, so I’d love to see that change by people picking up the bug and wanting to play.'