Frank Lampard, even at the ripe old age of 34, has been simply superb for the Blues this season, and he's done more than enough to earn himself a new contract.
That much is clear from watching the England international this year.
Having had his 2012-13 season surrounded by rumors of his potential departure from the Blues and his possible arrival to Major League Soccer in America, Lampard has been nothing but a hero for Chelsea this season—scoring big goals when they needed him to and ensuring success for the Londoners.
The midfielder did just that this weekend as the Blues came from a goal down on the road to defeat Aston Villa. The game-winning goal came via Lampard, as has so often been the case this year, and the win all but ensured Chelsea's qualification into the Champions League next season—something that appeared unlikely at certain points of the season.
Lampard has netted 15 Premier League goals and an assist in 20 starting appearances for the Blues this year, making him the club's leading goal-scorer this year.
His career mark now stands at 203—the highest in the club's history as well.
And yet, as Transfermarkt points out, Lampard will be off contract at the end of the year and potentially able to move anywhere in the summer transfer window.
That's something that the Blues cannot allow to happen.
Chelsea must—and it really is a must—offer Lampard a new deal this year, keeping him at the club for perhaps another one or two seasons if possible.
He's simply too much of a key player to lose at this point in time, and whilst it might not seem like it, they really don't have a player capable of replacing what Lampard brings to the midfield and attack whenever he takes the field.
Despite all their world-class midfielders and attackers, Lampard has shone the brightest this year and has been simply outstanding for the West London club.
He has dramatically exceeded expectations from 2013 and has managed to remain healthy and consistent in his performances. Which, looking back across the season that has been, is something that few Blues are able to attest to like Lampard can.
The 34-year-old (who turns 35 next month) is a key component to their midfield in the production that he brings, but he also shows great experience and leadership.
Which is key for a club that boasts a number of stars in their early 20s.
He is wise and mature on the field and, as interim boss Rafa Benitez stated after the game, showed this year that he still has plenty left to give to football:
He is a great professional and looks after himself well. Yes, he can carry on playing many more games. We look at the stats after the match and with Lampard there is no problem. He has been amazing.
He works so hard. He is a good professional and he is good for the team. He is an intelligent player and he always has knack of scoring goals.
Why then, should he be giving to football anywhere other than Stamford Bridge? That is, if Lampard is capable of producing talent as much as anyone else in world football and his mind and body are still sharp, why shouldn't the Blues throw a new deal his way?
Cannot for the life of me see Frank Lampard any place other than Chelsea next season. Mourinho will not let him slip away.— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) May 11, 2013
Given all that he's achieved this season, they would seemingly be insane not to consider keeping the England international on for another year or two at the club.
Without Lampard this season, the Blues wouldn't be in the Europa League Final, and they certainly wouldn't have qualified for the Champions League next season.
Chelsea can ill afford to have that happen in 2014 by letting Lampard leave.
Lampard's goals today guaranteed #CFC around £30m on CL revenue next season. Would cost a fraction of that to sign him up.— Ian McGarry (@garbosj) May 11, 2013
He simply must be their top priority this summer.
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