Why Club Legend Frank Lampard Deserves New 1-Year Deal with Chelsea

Dan LeveneFeatured ColumnistApril 25, 2014

Chelsea's Frank Lampard greets Chelsea fans after the Champions League semifinal first leg soccer match between Atletico Madrid and Chelsea at the Vicente Calderon stadium in Madrid, Spain, Tuesday, April 22, 2014. The match ended in a 0-0 draw. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)
Andres Kudacki

News that Frank Lampard looks set to secure another one-year extension at Chelsea recognises the fact that the England midfielder has much more to give at Stamford Bridge.

As revealed by Tony Banks in the Daily Express, Lampard looks set to be signed for another year, with a confirmation of that deal expected before the end of the Premier League season.

Lampard has had an on-and-off relationship with the pitch this season, being used sparingly by boss Jose Mourinho.

Even so, he has managed to net eight goals in a campaign in which the Blues have struggled to find prolific target men and have repeatedly been linked with outside strikers.

Lampard has struggled to fit in to the evolving shape of Chelsea, though he has looked handy when Mourinho has relied upon the 4-3-3 formation that was so successful for him the first time around.

In the past, he was vocal about his omission from the starting XIunder Andre Villas-Boas, notably, as reported by The Guardian back in 2011—but the 35-year-old has kept his counsel for pretty much all of this season.

And that perhaps points toward the future role Lampard can expect should the suggested deal go through.

Lampard has been prised for many things over his record-breaking career.

He keeps himself in remarkable physical shape, somewhat making a mockery of the "Big Fat Frank" chants beloved by some. He is a great professional who trains harder than most, as John Terry tells ESPN.co.uk. And he is famously intelligent, both as a footballer on the pitch and as an individual outside the game.

While Lampard's goal and match tallies have diminished, as you would expect of any player in his mid-30s, his fortitude has not.

Terry is, of course, known as the Blues' captain courageous. Because of his huge personality and his commitment, many overlook the fact that Lampard is an on-pitch and training-ground leader who positively influences other players.

He sets an example while imparting experience in a way that actually seems to improve his team-mates.

Many have compared his longevity in the game to the careers of Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes at Manchester United. And there could seldom be a better time to highlight the positive influence of such veterans than in the week in which those two take temporary control of the Premier League's biggest club.

Lampard is not a coach yetfar from it—but he clearly has many of the attributes that go toward making one. And as far back as 2012, he was talking about the possibility of taking his badges and making the move from pitch to technical area, as reported by the Daily Mail.

Lampard has plenty of ability to continue for at least another year in his current role, giving vital options in the squad, making an impact off the bench, and being a level and experienced head in a team increasingly full of youth.

But if, as expected, he is given another contract extension now, it increases the likelihood of his bounteous talents being a part of the Chelsea setup in a more senior role for many years to come.