It's not rocket science.
It's what's best for the team.
After netting his 194th career goal for the Blues on Saturday to move into second place on the club's all-time scoring list, the spotlight should have been on Lampard. However, with rumors of a transfer to China and the team in the midst of a disappointing season, that wasn't the case.
In fact, according to Laurie Whitwell of The Daily Mail, the club delayed acknowledgement of its superstar's feat and even removed parts of an interview with teammate Petr Cech.
And an interview in which Petr Cech praised the 34-year-old has been edited to cut out mention of the midfielder’s 'loyalty', 'importance' and being ‘as good as ever’.
Perhaps this shouldn't be a surprise, as Lampard had recently been connected to Chinese club Guizhou Renhe, where two of his former teammates play. According to David Kent of The Daily Mail, Lampard turned down a big payday from the mega-rich club.
Guizhou Renhe were ready to offer the England midfielder a £250,000-a-week, two-year deal starting in March.
But Lampard could not be tempted to move to China despite Guizhou Renhe stating on their website that the player had agreed to the switch and would be team captain.
So what does this all mean for Chelsea, who sits in just third place in the Premier League standings?
It's time to buck up and pay Lampard.
Few players display the consistency, goal-scoring ability and intelligence of the 34-year-old midfielder, and despite his dwindling physical skills, he still remains one of the most effective players for the Blues.
In just eight Premier League starts, Lampard has still scored seven goals, which ties him with Fernando Torres and Juan Mata for the team lead.
Oh, he's managed that on just 24 shots compared to 47 by Torres and 45 by Mata.
While he no longer has the pace that once made him one of the sport's premier players, it's clear he still knows how to find the back of the net.
Moreover, Lampard fills more than just an on-field role.
He's a leader.
As Roger Bennett of ESPN points out, Lampard has been the epitome of consistency during his tenure with the Blues and has always been a tremendously hard worker who relied on great technique and effort.
Losing that type of player—even with his skills diminishing—could set Chelsea back both on and off the field.
Lampard may be a be bit of a lightning rod, but based on his accomplishments and contributions to the club, he deserves a bit of leeway. If Chelsea is to get back to the level it once was, Lampard needs to be re-signed before another club swoops in.
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