New York City FC midfielder Frank Lampard has ruled out any chance of a loan return to the Premier League during the MLS offseason this winter, while adding that he sees himself retiring at the US club.
Speaking on Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football, having been a studio guest for Tottenham Hotspur’s 3-1 win over Aston Villa at White Hart Lane, the Chelsea legend said: “I’ve played a lot of football and it’s very important for me now, particularly at this stage of my career, to have a little rest here, take some family time over Christmas and have a good preseason.
“When I got to New York, I didn’t have a good preseason behind me, tried to rush things and got injured, so it’s important I do that next year.”
|2015 MLS||Team||Goals||Total Shots||Shooting Accuracy||Assists||Key Passes||Total Passes||Passing Accuracy||Unsuccessful Touches||Dispossessed||Appearances||Mins Played|
Lampard was originally unveiled as an NYCFC player in July 2014, but he later joined sister club Manchester City on what was announced at the time as a six-month loan deal, intended to end before the MLS expansion side’s first-ever preseason.
However, it later emerged in January that the 37-year-old never actually signed with the US outfit and had instead agreed “a head of terms commitment”, before penning a short-term contract at the Etihad Stadium until 31 December.
An impressive run of form for Manuel Pellegrini’s men also led to his deal being extended until the end of the Premier League season, causing him to miss the start of NYCFC’s inaugural campaign and prompt a considerable amount of criticism among MLS circles.
Eventually arriving in New York in July after barely playing during the second half of his City spell, the former England international then saw a nagging calf problem hamper his first few months in the States, as neither he nor fellow summer signing Andrea Pirlo proved able to lift Jason Kreis’ struggling side up the Eastern Conference table.
He finally managed to produce some solid displays near the end of the season once fully fit, recording three goals and an assist over the final six games, but the damaged had been done at that stage, as the club finished 12 points outside the playoffs in eighth-place in the East.
The Blues legend now only has one more season left on his NYCFC deal, but while he currently sees himself hanging up his boots with the MLS club, he would not be averse to extending his career past 2016 either if he still feels like he has something to offer.
Asked whether he intends to retire at Yankee Stadium, Lampard added: “I would think so. Once you get past 30, I’ve always taken things year by year. You see how you feel, see how your body feels and how you’re playing.
“I’m certainly enjoying it at the minute but I wouldn’t look beyond next year at this point. I’m looking forward to next year and I’ll evaluate it as I go.
“It’s whether I can keep contributing because the last thing I want to do is carry on playing when I feel like my level is not where I want it to be. That’s the day when I’ll say I’ve had enough.”
Regardless, Lampard will be working under a different manger once he returns to NYCFC, as head coach Kreis was controversially sacked just hours after the Designated Player's TV appearance, amid reports that his former England manager, Fabio Capello, could be set to take over [h/t Telegraph].