Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho says the club were right not to renew Frank Lampard’s previous deal at Stamford Bridge and has pointed to the success of his replacements as proof.
The 36-year-old midfielder spent more than a decade with the Blues, scoring goals aplenty and contributing greatly to the club’s most successful era in history.
The word club legend often gets thrown about too easily in football, but in Lampard’s case it is undoubtedly true and many observers felt he would retire while still on top donning the Blue shirt.
However, after walking away from the club in the summer, the former West Ham United youth star made a shock six-month loan move to title rivals Manchester City.
The Blues were powerless to prevent such a deal happening, though it was ultimately their choice not to renew his deal at the back end of last season thus suffering the possible consequences.
Mourinho, nevertheless, has no regrets in allowing Lampard to walk away as he explains that his departure has since aided the development of his former teammates.
“If you have a big player like Frank we would stop the development of the other guys,” he was quoted as saying by the Mirror. “We made the right decision.”
“When you want to look forward, to look for the future and have people like Cesc Fabregas and Nemanja Matic - they are the next ten years of the club!”
“The project is prepare for the next ten years, not for the next year.”
The Blues have certainly not suffered as a result of Lampard’s exit as they top the Premier League table after 16 matches, winning 12 and losing just once.
The new midfield partnership of Nemanja Matic and Cesc Fabregas has given Mourinho’s side great balance, a vital ingredient for overall success and something which was lacking for much of last season.