lampardFrank Lampard saluting the crowd (CC BY 2.0) by Ben Sutherland

Earlier this month, Chelsea legend Frank Lampard announced that he will be leaving New York City FC at the end of the current Major League Soccer campaign. Since moving to the United States, Lampard has made 25 appearances, scoring 15 goals whilst recording three assists. While he took a while to get going in America, Lampard’s recent form has helped to win MLS fans over and he will look back fondly on his career in the States – even though New York failed to challenge for the MLS Cup during his short tenure.

However, he will forever be remembered for his illustrious career at Stamford Bridge. The England star made the controversial move from West Ham United to Chelsea in 2001 and Lampard went on to enjoy a very successful 13-year career at the Bridge, winning three domestic titles, four FA Cup finals and a Champions League triumph. All in all, Lampard was a key component of Chelsea’s success during the Roman Abramovich era and he will go down in history as one of the greatest players in Chelsea’s long-standing history.

According to reports, Lampard may be set for an emotional Chelsea return as a coach if he decides to hang up his boots in the coming months. At 38 years old, time is running out on his career and it wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see the Blues legend do his coaching badges in the near future.

As of 20 November, Chelsea, priced at 3/1 to win the title in 888sport’s Premier League odds, are sitting pretty at the top of the table and Antonio Conte’s men would certainly appreciate Lampard’s advice and guidance during the business end of the campaign.

 

 

Whether the England international returns to the top flight or not, he will be regarded as one of the best central midfielders to play in the modern era. The Chelsea veteran made 609 Premier League appearances during his playing career, netting 177 goals and recording a further 95 assists.

In fact, you could argue that Lampard was the prime inventor of the now-known ‘number 10’ role; and his ability to ghost into the penalty area and score was, and still is, unrivalled in English football history.

Lampard sits fourth on the all-time list of goalscorers in Premier League; an incredible feat to say the least. In fact, Lampard is the highest midfielder on the list by a distance, with Steven Gerrard way back in 16th.

Without making too many direct comparisons between the two former England stars, Lampard’s domestic form – both individually and judged by team accomplishments – totally outweigh Gerrard’s statistics. The Lampard-Gerrard debate will rage on throughout history, especially as you can now compare their respective form in the MLS as well.

However, ask any Chelsea supporter about the club’s best player during the Premier League era and the vast majority will agree that Lampard influenced the Blues more than most.

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While John Terry will get a chunk of the plaudits, Lampard’s consistency at the top level sets him apart from the rest and he deserves to go down as the greatest central midfielder in England since 1992.