Despite their somewhat subdued start to this season's Champions League, Manchester City have been backed to become a driving force of European football by on loan midfielder Frank Lampard.
The club have struggled to make an impact on Europe's premier club competition since first taking part in 2011-2012, but Lampard believes the investment pumped into the club in recent years will see them become a major force for years to come.
The midfielder likened his current employers to his former club Chelsea, with both teams having seen hundreds of millions of pounds worth of investment both on and off the pitch.
Having been part of the furniture at Stamford Bridge throughout the Roman Abramovich years, Lampard saw an established Premier League club rise to the top of European football, and he believes City can do the same under Sheikh Mansour.
Behind the scenes
Many of us would expect any team to flourish under a billionaire owner willing to spend a small fortune on the world's best players, but Lampard revealed there's so much more to consider when looking for long-term success.
“It’s not as easy as people think. With money coming into the club the quality of the squad is bound to improve, but there is a lot to do behind the scenes," he told the Manchester Evening News.
City have shown their willingness to look beyond the squad having invested in improved training facilities as well as hoping to increase the capacity of the Etihad Stadium.
Following Abramovich's Chelsea takeover in 2003, the Blues had to wait nearly a decade for a first Champions League triumph, and he believes City can match his former club at home and on the continent.
Lampard said: "Chelsea have done it – you can’t just throw money at it, because that is a potential disaster. Both clubs have built a fantastic structure in terms of young players, training ground and academy and have done it with a real long-term vision.
"Both have that vision and I think Chelsea and City will be right at the top of not just English football, but European football, for a long time."
The former England man is unlikely to repeat his Champions League success of 2012 with his current side, but City would be wise to tap into the experience of a man who has seen a club rise from the brink of financial meltdown to champions of Europe.
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