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Why Chelsea must keep Frank Lampard

Chelsea legend Frank Lampard has been linked with a move away from the European champions at the end of this season, despite his willingness to stay at Stamford Bridge, the Blues have yet to offer him a contract extension.

The 34-year-old Englishman has served at the club for 12 years and helped them to lift the Champion’s League trophy along with 3 Premier League titles, 4 FA Cups and 2 League Cups making him one of the clubs most decorated professionals.

But, according to reports, the Blues have told Lampard to find a new club as they no longer require his services – by all accounts the midfielder ‘s desire is to remain at Stamford Bridge with the club he loves but it seems the feeling is unrequited.

I’m inclined to suggest Chelsea would be foolish to allow one of their best players leave the club – whilst he’s not getting any younger, he’s still a valuable asset to the squad, the manager, and the fans. He’s still fit as fiddle and, even at 34, he’s probably got another two years at the highest level left in him.

You only have to look at what Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs bring to Manchester United. Sir Alex Ferguson keeps them around because they’re United through and through, they know what it means to put on that shirt and they are, despite being 38 and 39 respectively, still two of the most talented footballers in the world.

The veterans seldom play 90 minutes but the experience, commitment, and quality they bring to the team and the dressing room makes them worth their weight in gold to United.

They also keep a sense of continuity at the club – your best players, and most successful players, are there as examples to the new generation of what they are expected to replace and the level of professionalism they need to attain to do it.

If Chelsea let a player as committed and consistent as Frank Lampard go, they’ll have done the club, the fans, and the player, a great disservice.

They need now to repay the loyalty he has given them season after season – that is something money can’t buy, even if you have Roman Abramovich’s billions at your disposal.

In eight out of the last 9 season Lampard has scored between 15 and 30 goals from midfield. That level of consistency is hard to come by and whilst the likes of Juan Mata, Eden Hazard, and Oscar look to be world beaters, it remains to be seen whether they can perform week in week out, season after season.

We all know Chelsea view managers as disposable but should they extend that lack of respect to their players, I fear the fans will lose out the most.

The fans know what it means to be a Blue through and through – as did Roberto Di Matteo and Ray Wilkins who were cruelly tossed aside.

I’m not sure the owner, the board, and the new signings will ever have the same pride in their club as Frank Lampard. To him I believe playing football for Chelsea Football Club is not just a job, it’s an honour. Now it’s up to them to honour him

images: © Ronnie Macdonald, © wonker

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