For the last decade, Frank Lampard has been a vital part of a Chelsea side that has gone from strength-to-strength since Russian tycoon Roman Abramovich took over the London club in June 2003.
Having shown his great midfield qualities at West Ham in the late 90s and early 00s, Lampard embarked on a £11 million transfer to Stamford Bridge in 2001. He became an instant hit with the fans with great string-pulling displays as well as contributing with his fair share of goals. Goals which now see him as the highest scoring midfielder in Premier League history, and one of only five players to hit 150 Premier League goals. And most recently he has gone into the record books again, becoming the club's second highest goalscorer of all time, surpassing Blues legend Kerry Dixon and only eight goals behind Bobby Tambling.
Yet recently Lampard's future has been subject to great debate as he approaches the end of his current contract. It seems that at the age of 34, the England international is soon to be surplus to requirements at Chelsea, upsetting many fans at the Bridge and surprising the football community. How can you let a player of his calibre and experience, not to mention just what he has done to help Chelsea get where they are today, leave for nothing after such fantastic service over the last 12 years?
With such world-class young players there now such as Eden Hazard and Oscar to name a few, you would think that the experience Lampard could offer these future stars would be basis enough for him to get the contract extension he clearly wants. But it seems at the moment as though the final word from the owner is going to ensure this does not happen, despite the overwhelming fan support that Lampard has.
The fans must fear that this may be another mistake made, just like letting Dider Drogba leave after his Champions League heroics, winning the one trophy Abramovich has been desperate to have in his cabinet.
There is one certainty in all of this, and that is that Lampard will not be short of options to continue his playing career either in England or Europe. A midfielder of his experience would be a welcome addition to any manager's squad, and there will undoubtedly be a whole host of clubs queuing up to sign one of Chelsea's all-time greats come the end of the season.
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