Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho has revealed Frank Lampard will be used sparingly this season - but insists the veteran midfielder still has a key role to play.
Lampard has been a mainstay of the Chelsea team since he joined from West Ham in 2001, and was one of Mourinho's trusted lieutenants during his first spell at the club which yielded consecutive Premier League titles and three domestic cups.
Since Mourinho's departure from Stamford Bridge in 2007 Lampard has gone on to become Chelsea's record goalscorer, and earned a one-year contract extension last season.
Now though he faces competition for a first team place from new arrival Marco van Ginkel as well as the likes of John Obi-Mikel, Ramires and Kevin de Bruyne.
Mourinho, who arrived for his second spell at Chelsea earlier this summer, says although the 35-year-old is integral to his plans at the club, he will be rotated to maximise his impact across the season.
"With Frank, the role doesn't have to change," Mourinho told reporters. "What has to change is the way we analyse every competition.
"With Frank, before, we didn't have to analyse - it was simple: every match, he plays. I believe he is the same player but there is a difference.
"He is 35 and the time needed to recover from match to match is not the same for a man of 25 as a man of 35. That's the only point.
"[Lampard] knows what I did, for example, with [Claude] Makelele here in the last two years of his spell at the club," the former Real Madrid coach continued.
"He knows I know how to do it with players of his age because, at the end of the day, we have to be just clever, because the player is the same.
"I like players without looking at their birth certificates. Performance determines how good you are, not your identity card or birth certificate. It's about performance, nothing else."
Lampard played 29 times last season, scoring 15 goals to take him to 203 strikes for the club to take him past Bobby Tambling's previous record.