Frank Lampard: Is his time at Chelsea coming to an end?
English football has seen few players as talented and effective as Frank Lampard. Since joining Chelsea in 2001, Lampard has slowly become somewhat of an institution at Chelsea. However, this season, rumours surrounding Lampard’s future have been more rampant than ever, with many expecting Lampard to leave the Blues soon. So is it time for Lampard to move on, or does he have a few more years left?
Unquestionably, Lampard has been a huge factor in Chelsea’s success over the last eleven years, with the central midfielder joining the club while it was on the up, but nowhere near the dizzy heights that they have reached in the past few years. Lampard cost Chelsea £11 million to sign from West Ham, and it seems incredible to think now, but at the time many were unsure about whether Lampard was worth the fee. However, after it initially took him a while to settle in, Lampard began to prove he was worth every penny.
The arrival of Roman Abramovich in 2003 could have potentially left Lampard in turmoil, with the likes of Juan Sebastian Veron, Geremi, Joe Cole, Claude Makelele and Scott Parker all threatening to take Lampard’s place. Instead, Lampard began to massively improve, especially from a goalscoring perspective.
The 2003/04 season was the first of nine seasons (and counting) where Lampard’s goal tally finished in double figures. Without doubt, Lampard was one of Chelsea’s key players in their back to back league title wins of 2005 and 2006. His excellence for Chelsea was honoured with Lampard only losing out to Ronaldinho in the 2005 Ballon d’Or.
The following seasons have seen yet more success for the Chelsea and England man, with Lampard continuing to be an integral part of Chelsea’s team. With Lampard approaching one decade as a Chelsea player, many began referring to Lampard, Petr Cech, John Terry and Didier Drogba as the ‘’backbone’’ of Chelsea’s squad despite various managers arriving and then leaving. Lampard has been an ideal servant for the club, showing loyalty, quality and consistency. He achieved a legend status at Stamford Bridge many years ago.
So with Lampard getting injured more regularly, and with the likes of Oscar, Eden Hazard, Victor Moses and Juan Mata constantly improving, is it time for Lampard to move on? To be honest, he has had better days, but I think that Lampard should stay at Chelsea for a short while longer at least, and maybe try to adapt his way of playing to prolong his career at the top level, much like Francesco Totti and Ryan Giggs have. The younger players at Chelsea could and should look at Lampard for guidance and inspiration, something a lot of them appear to need.
Ultimately, the decision falls to Lampard, but I think he deserves some more time at the top level. LA Galaxy may have something to say about that however, especially now that Beckham has gone.