Chelsea – It Is Time For The Club To Formally Acknowledge The Club’s Legends And Keep Them Close

Frank Lampard

In the summer of 2014, Chelsea let go of legendary midfielder Frank Lampard, much to the dismay of supporters and teammates. Now, with Lampard announcing the end of his NYCFC career in MLS, all eyes turn to Chelsea to make right by the club legend they spurned years earlier.

Lampard is indisputably one of the greatest players to wear a Chelsea shirt. In his 13 years at Stamford Bridge, Lampard became the club’s all-time leading goalscorer, helping the Blues earn three league titles, four FA cup victories and the Champions League trophy. Hailed as “a true legend” by Chelsea captain John Terry, Lampard was a three time Chelsea Player of the Year and was named to the PFA Team of the Season on five occasions.

For a player that had so tirelessly served his club, Lampard’s dismissal was insulting. The midfielder was offered a one-year contract with significantly reduced wages, despite still clearly having a role to play. The previous season, Lampard had contributed six goals in the league and one in the Champions League, making 26 appearances across a Premier League that saw the Blues finish third. Lampard was the model of professionalism and consistency, providing an invaluable dressing room presence to Chelsea’s younger stars.

“My view is that when you want to look forward, look for the future and have people like Fabregas and Matic and Oscar which are the next 10 years of the club, and the project is prepare for the next 10 years not for the next year, we made the right decision,” said then-Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho following Lampard’s departure.

Mourinho appeared to be proven correct, as his more youthful side won the Premier League the following season. But when Mourinho was ousted after 16 matches the following year following dreadful results and a lack of effort from those same younger players, Lampard’s presence was sorely missed. As a senior player who had tirelessly served the club, Lampard could have enforced the manager’s directives, steering the more lackadaisical players in the right direction.

Following a spell at NYCFC that included a brief loan to Manchester City, it is not fully clear what comes next for Frank Lampard, although the midfielder is set to reveal his plans in the near future.

“I leave with many great memories as I embark on the next stage of my career and I’ll be making an announcement very soon,” Lampard wrote in an Instagram post announcing the end to his NYCFC career.

The Guardian, however, have reported that the midfielder will be offered either an ambassadorial or coaching role with his former club, as the Blues aim to establish permanent ties to retiring club legends.

“There is a desire within the club not to see Lampard, Didier Drogba, John Terry, Ashley Cole or even Petr Cech – who departed for Arsenal in 2015 – working for a rival club in the future,” writes Guardian journalist Dominic Fifield. “They have already integrated Carlo Cudicini, Jody Morris, Eddie Newton, Paulo Ferreira, Jon Harley and Tore Andre Flo into their staff at senior and youth level.”

Should Chelsea extend a professional offer to Lampard, the club will repair the relationship that was damaged when they failed to respect Lampard’s long-standing service to the Bridge in 2014. There is no doubt among supporters and former teammates that Lampard is a club legend – it is now time for the club to formally acknowledge the same.

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