Rumours over a U-turn have been mooted since the winter and it had even been suggested that the news of Lampard’s extension would be revealed during the next manager’s first press conference.
The 34-year-old grabbed his 202nd and 203rd goals of his Chelsea career on Saturday afternoon during the crucial 2-1 over Aston Villa, which not only bagged a top four place for the Blues but Lampard set a new record as the club’s all-time goal scorer. He’s also set to captain the side against Benfica in the Europa League final tonight.
Standard Sport reported that the hierarchy were worried that the England international was showing signs of decline and this made them reluctant to offer him an extension, especially considering the player’s lucrative wages. However, their change of heart could have something to do with his 17 goals and six assists this season.
Perhaps it’s not as simple as that as many speculate that Jose Mourinho is the incoming manager to succeed Rafael Benitez and he has requested that Lampard is kept on. But there could also have been a change of mind on the player’s behalf as being a senior citizen under a second Mourinho tenure would appeal to him, whereas he expressed that he doesn’t want to see out his days on the bench previously and will obviously have to live with that if he’s kept on as no 35-year-old is going to receive guarantees over playing time.
It would obviously be news that would please a significant bulk of the Chelsea support and every fan will always appreciate what he has done for the club. There is still the question over wages though as if his intention is to emulate what the likes of Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs have done at Manchester United, then he would have to do it on their salary bracket.
But that’s if he wants to sign extensions on a yearly basis until he’s around there age and I don’t have a doubt that he can play that long because he keeps himself in good shape, I’m not sure what the benefit of ‘just one more year’ would be though as if he was to go in the near future then I can’t imagine a better time than when you’ve just become the club’s all-time scorer and he could yet lift the Europa League title.
Source: Evening Standard