Frank Lampard admits he wanted to sign a new contract at Chelsea when his deal expired at the end of last season.
The midfielder joined the Stamford Bridge club from West Ham United in the summer of 2001, and when he departed in the summer, he did so as the highest-goalscorer in the Blues history. Not only this, but he also played an integral part in three Premier League title successes, four FA Cups wins, two League Cup wins, and he captained the side to UEFA Champions League glory in 2012 and then the UEFA Europa League the following year.
So it was an emotional farewell to the club when he found out he was not going to be offered the chance to extend his contract and, vowing that he would find it difficult to play for another club in England, he agreed a deal with New York City. However, he then performed a dramatic U-turn when he signed a loan deal to play for rivals Manchester City, who bought the American club and will enter them into the MLS season which begins next year.
Lampard, who played 26 times in the Premier League season, has now revealed that he doesn’t know who at Stamford Bridge made the decision not to extend his stay at the club. But the midfielder has revealed that he has no bitterness towards his former employers, although he admits that in an ideal world, he would have signed a new contract even though he accepts his playing time in Jose Mourinho’s first team would likely have been limited.
“I would have obviously stayed if Chelsea had offered me another year. There was no reason for me to leave,” Lampard told The Sun. “Yes, I wanted to play a bit more regularly but I’m not stupid. If Chelsea had given me a new contract it would have been mad not to take it at the time. It wasn’t that I didn’t think I could still do it. If I felt like that I wouldn’t have gone to City on loan. I had a chat with Jose Mourinho and both he and the club were always great with me. The decision was made – and I don’t know who made it.
“When we won the Champions League I knew there would be some sort of evolution. Chelsea wanted to bring in some younger players and it was the right move for the club. Jose was brilliant about it. I didn’t walk out with any bad feelings towards him or the club. I knew things were coming to a head but I’m realistic. I also felt like I didn’t want to be a player who faded away – with that being the last memory people had of me. So maybe it was the right time. Maybe it was right that the club took it out of my hands.”
Chelsea fans, would you have liked Lampard to stay at the club, even if he wasn’t going to be involved much? And are you used to the fact that one of your greatest ever players is now playing for Manchester City? Let us know your thoughts by joining in the discussion below!