Chelsea manager Rafael Benitez has played down the importance of potentially losing some experienced players at the end of the season.

Both Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole are expected to leave Stamford Bridge this summer, with the club’s owner Roman Abramovich keen to usher in a new, younger generation of players.

His intent was displayed ahead of this season, with Didier Drogba, a key member of the Champions League winning squad, being allowed to leave for Shanghai Shenhua, where he joined another Blues outcast, Nicolas Anelka.

Cole and Lampard are in line to start in the Londoners’ Capital One clash with Swansea, but Benitez believes that them leaving is just part of football:

“It’s always easy to talk about the legends, and you have to have a lot of respect for them,” he is quoted by The Mirror.

“What they’ve achieved for this club has been fantastic.

“But you have to see new players coming. It’s part of life.

The Spaniard also feels that there is a new generation of stars who could fill the void left by the current crowd favourites:

“At the same time, you have to think about the future. You cannot be waiting.

“This year you have three or four players, like Eden Hazard, Oscar, Lucas Piazon and Marko Marin. Maybe in the next couple of years we will be talking about these players as fantastic players and then the others who need to come and join them.

“That is part of the evolution of the team. I can see the club is changing things for the future, thinking about being successful again.”

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