Frank Lampard should retire this year

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When Frank Lampard first arrived on the scene at Chelsea in 2001 it was amidst debates surrounding his credentials as a £11million player.

Fast forward to present day and it's looking more like the best £11million Chelsea have ever spent.

Lampard has been a mainstay in their midfield for a decade, and consistently contributed to the cause with goals and assists whilst superstars have come and gone as frequently as the weather has changed.

The 35-year-old will be regarded as a Chelsea favourite for a long, long time come; that's an unequivocal fact.

But despite still obviously being instrumental both for the Blues and England, I think Lampard should see out this season and then hang up his boots for good.

The second reign of Jose Mourinho has bought about expected change for Chelsea, and the old-guard are ever-so slowly going to be eked out in favour of the next generation of player.

The Special One was adamant that he wanted Lampard in his squad this year, and rightly so, his choice has already paid dividends. I'm of the opinion that as soon as this season comes to it's conclusion however, Lampard cease to be a member of playing staff, and make the transition from veteran player to apprentice coach. 

For me Lampard's days of offering a game-changing outlet are numbered, and his legacy is such that he should retire before he becomes a bit-part inclusion to Mourinho's intensions.

Some will argue that the now-centurion England international can play at the highest level for years to come, as was the case with Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes up until the end of last year when the latter retired, but the truth is, Chelsea simply don't need him to.

Whereas Sir Alex Ferguson relied upon his stalwarts for their influence in the squad and their ability to provide cover in positions that needed it, the Chelsea that Mourinho is building is centred around an entirely different emphasis.

Don't get me wrong, Lampard would provide excellent experience and will still be a more complete player than most midfielders can ever hope to be by the time he's in his late thirties, but for me a move to coaching is the logical next step, and one that should be done sooner rather than later.

The former Chelsea man has himself stated his intent to remain in the game once he retires from playing, and what better time to do it than whilst Mourinho is at the club to offer him tutelage? Who better to learn from, and who better to work with than the man regarded to be the best manager in the world, and the one he has worked with for years as a player?

In my opinion Lampard should see out this season, perform for England in Brazil if they are amongst the finalists, and then bow out on a high.

His legacy is already firmly cemented, his name etched into the history books both internationally and domestically. For me, Lampard should take up coaching at the next available opportunity, and allow Mourinho to mould him into as good a coach as he was a player.

Lampard should continue for Chelsea for years to come, just not in his current capacity.

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