Jose Mourinho has admitted he told Frank Lampard to stay at Stamford Bridge before he was officially announced as Chelsea manager.
The Portuguese tactician convinced the England international that he would receive a new deal - even when it looked like Lampard was heading for the exit door.
Mourinho, speaking to the Metro, said: "I told him when he didn’t have a new contract, just by being a friend, I told him that I didn’t see him playing for another English club and I wouldn’t see him play in another small league, because of his nature.
"He wants to play at this level and I think he can."
Lampard showed why Chelsea were right to reward him with a new one-year deal by putting in a superb performance - which included a 25-yard free-kick.
Despite such praise for the veteran midfielder, Mourinho stated that Lampard, 35, is unlikely to feature in all of Chelsea's fixtures this season.
Mourinho added: "He is not 25 anymore, so the crazy Lamps that wants to play every minute of a Carling Cup match against a team from the Championship, the crazy Frank that wants to play and beat the record of appearances and play every minute every match is not here anymore.
"It’s about to keep his performance high for the most time we can, for the most seasons we can."
With that in mind, Lampard could be on the bench for Chelsea's home fixture against Aston Villa on Wednesday.