Ashley Cole's new deal at Chelsea could be good news for Frank Lampard. According to ESPN.co.uk, Chelsea manager Rafael Benitez confirmed that the 31-year-old had agreed to a new deal to stay with the club. Cole's new deal gives hope that Chelsea will also award Frank Lampard with a new contract.
The deal came as somewhat of a surprise after it was believed the club was ready to let the aging player leave during the summer when his contract expires. Lampard is in a similar situation at the club, but is hoping to finish out his career wearing a Chelsea shirt.
Earlier in the year, both players were fully expected to leave the club as Chelsea moved to a younger, more affordable core of players.
In speaking with the press in November, Benitez admitted, via The Daily Mail, the pair would most likely be leaving the squad. "I think so, that is the case at the moment. I am only here for seven months. If it is for two or three years then maybe I would have an influence," said Benitez.
Apparently things have changed enough in the last two months to bring back Cole. That should be the case for Lampard, who has played great for the club over the last few weeks.
Lampard's role at Chelsea has changed this season, but he's proven that still provides quality enough to be part of the squad. He doesn't look to be an every-match player, but he can make an impact when he does play or as a sub.
Dating back to Chelsea's 8-0 thrashing of Aston Villa on Dec. 23, Lampard has scored six goals in his nine appearances. He's scored in five of those nine matches, despite Chelsea struggling to find solid form.
The news of a new deal for Cole is a pick-up for Chelsea supporters during the club's recent spell of poor performance at Stamford Bridge. Since Benitez was appointed manager, tensions have been high between the club and its fans.
Chelsea will need to prepare for another onslaught of angry supporters should they let a club legend leave this summer. The club's willingness to change their stance on Cole should be viewed as a positive sign that Lampard's future hasn't been decided just yet.