Frank Lampard's illustrious career with Chelsea may appear set to end this summer, but former Blue Graeme Le Saux believes the midfield veteran will be regarded as the Stamford Bridge club's greatest ever player.
Lampard is out of contract at the end of the season and is widely expected to leave Chelsea, with MLS franchise LA Galaxy seemingly favourite to secure the 34-year-old on a free transfer.
The England international has scored 195 goals in 583 appearances for Chelsea since his transfer from West Ham in 2001, and his just eight strikes away from becoming the club's record ever scorer.
Le Saux played in the same Chelsea team as Lampard when he arrived in west London as a youngster, and has seen him flourish into one of the best players in the history of the Premier League.
In terms of Chelsea's history, though, Le Saux - who played 230 times in two spells with the Blues - views Lampard as the unquestioned, and says his rewards have been testament to his hard work and excellent attitude.
"Yes, certainly, from my point of view," Le Saux told GiveMeFootball when asked if Lampard is Chelsea's greatest. "But it's very difficult to look back at the history of the club and compare greats of yesteryear to today, because they are totally different environments.
"But, in terms of his consistent level and his phenomenal goalscoring and his work rate [he is the greatest].
"I was at Chelsea when we signed him from West Ham and I thought 'wow, we've spent a lot of money on Frank'. It was a huge fee - I think around £11 million - which at the time was a lot of money and he hadn't really proved himself at that stage, although he had a lot of potential.
"But there were things that struck me about him from day one - he's very focused, he's very determined, his work rate, his fitness was phenomenal. Technically he was always very good, but he's worked harder and harder to develop his left foot as well, so you'll see him scoring goals with both feet.
"I think, when you see somebody like that behind the scenes, you see that what they do on the pitch isn't just coincidence. The footballing world often overlooks Frank, because he was so good for so long they just took it for granted.
"He didn't really get the recognition, I don't think, maybe five or six years ago that he deserved. But now he certainly deserves it and he's still producing key moments on the pitch for us."
Graeme Le Saux is an ambassador for Chelsea FC and was speaking at an event to promote the final of the 2013 UEFA Women's Champions League, which will be held at Stamford Bridge on May 23. Tickets are on sale now, and can be purchased here.
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