Few days ago England international and a longtime servant of Chelsea, Frank Lampard was released by the West London club, Chelsea. Lampard alongside Ashley Cole and Samuel Eto’o were all released as the club started summer activities that will get the team in shape ahead of next season. The difference between Lampard and other released players is this; the 35-year-old can still be offered a one year contract.
Chelsea signed Frank Lampard in 2001 from London club, West ham. Since then the midfielder has gone on to do great things at Chelsea. He reached his peak during the first Mourinho stint. He was at that level for a while averaging at least 20 goals per season. But for a while now, Frank Lampard has declined greatly.
Since Chelsea switched to the 4-2-3-1 formation, the midfielder’s inadequacies have been so obvious. In the formal 4-3-3 system, he was the main attacking midfielder but in the 4-2-3-1 system he sat beside a central defensive midfielder shielding the back four which has not been effective at all. The arrivals of younger and talented attacking midfielders [Mata in previous seasons and Oscar and Hazard etc recently.] have further pushed Lampard back.
Lampard still managed to play a fair share of games in the just concluded season. He recorded 26 appearances in possible 38 [Substitution: 6, Starts: 20, Minutes played: 1702] scoring 6 goals and bagging 3 assists. Many have attributed the fact that he got a lot of games to favouritism. Favouritism or not, he performed fairly well but he is definitely not the answer to Chelsea’s midfield again.
It has been suggested that Frank Lampard will likely sign again with Chelsea with negotiations likely to take place after the World Cup. BBC journalist David Ornstein said this last week [via Twitter]:
“Lampard to hold contract talks with Chelsea after the World Cup. Free agent but will meet #CFC before considering any other offers”
The contract situation begs the question; should he really be offered a new contract?
He should be offered a new contract on the basis that his experience is still needed to guide the young players coming through and the new players that will join the club also. His experience and character will be needed in big games. Though 35-years-old now, he can still inspire the club even if it’s in a little way.
The way the aforementioned option will work realistically is that Lampard should no longer be seen as a solid option. He should be given a new contract yes, but the club needs a new midfielder – maybe two. What the club needs now is a player like Modric, Pogba or Kroos to partner Nemanja Matic in the pivot – Somebody creative and mindful of his defensive responsibilities at the same time. Lampard will be there to work with to work when called upon – an option but not the main option again.
There are rumours that newly promoted club, QPR managed by Frank Lampard’s uncle, Harry Redknapp are interested in signing Lampard. It might not be a bad idea from the player’s point of view. He can get a lucrative contract at this age and still be an important part of the team. In a similar way he can go to places like the MLS or the Middle East to get lucrative deals.
Final submission: Chelsea still needs him [even if it’s in a lesser capacity] and they should resign their record goal scorer for one final season.