Frank Lampard has been breaking Chelsea fans’ hearts since his return to the Premier League with Manchester City but could the stalwart midfielder be the key to the Citizens’ success?
In a move that has been heavily criticised, Lampard left Chelsea after a 13-year spell to move to the USA and play for newly formed team New York City FC which saw him immediately loaned back to current Premier League champions Man City for half a season. At first it looked like he was only there to make up the squad numbers and keep his fitness up before returning to America to play for his new team, however things are starting to look a bit different now after his first few performances have seen him score some vital goals.
There is no doubting that Lampard is one of the world’s best midfielders – he has had a fantastic career for both club and country which saw him become Chelsea’s all time record scorer – not a bad achievement from the middle of the park. He has consistently contributed to the goal tally every season, whether he was scoring them or supplying them, and he fast became a club legend at the Bridge becoming an integral part of their success under Roman Abravomich.
Few could blame him for his move away from the club at the end of his contract, especially when the player himself said that he wanted to stay but was not offered a new deal. Lamps has still got a few years left in him, so the natural thing to do was to move, even if he didn’t envisage it being a title rival.
Football is big business these days and big name players will certainly go a long way to boost the popularity of “soccer” in America, which certainly goes some way to explaining why Lampard is the latest star to have made the move over there.
Loan moves back to Europe are not uncommon either, we saw David Beckham have spells with AC Milan during the MLS off-season on a couple of occasions to keep his fitness levels up.
What made his move to Man City hit so many headlines though is the fact that first of all it was hard to ever imagine him in any other Premier League shirt other than Chelsea’s, let alone a title rival’s colours. It might not have been so hard to take if it was just the odd substitute appearance as first anticipated, but Lampard has shown his class since his first game for City and scored some important goals already, not least the dramatic late equaliser against Chelsea in the 1-1 draw between the two sides. He is already showing signs of the Super Frank Chelsea fans loved to watch every week, providing chances for his team mates and showing a killer instinct in front of goal.
It is still early days for him in the sky blue of Manchester, but he looks a key part in the trophy chasing squad already and what was set to be a short-term loan deal already looks like it could be made into a more long term deal. Whereas last season Yaya Toure was the key to City’s success, the Ivorian is yet to show his mettle, but Frank has stepped up to the plate so far and been the catalyst in the side that has inspired them to get results in all the games he has featured in.
With City chasing not only the title but also the Champions League, he could well be the key to their campaign. You have to wonder whether at the end of the season, Mourinho will regret letting Lampard go.
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