It will be surreal to watch Frank Lampard roam the midfield in anything other than Chelsea blue, but New York City FC surely won't mind.
According to NYCFC's official Twitter feed, the MLS club has come to terms with the 36-year-old Premier League veteran:
Welcome to New York City: Frank Lampard. Watch: http://t.co/74pg3kpSPZ— New York City FC (@NYCFC) July 24, 2014
The Sun's Martin Blackburn reported on the conditions of the deal:
Two year deal for lamps at #nycfc - will talk to club this week about whether he goes to Melbourne for a while.— Martin Blackburn (@SunMartinB) July 24, 2014
Lampard commented on the move and what it means, per the team's official Twitter account and BBC Sport:
Frank: "It's not a risk. It's a challenge. I will give everything to be in the middle of that challenge."— New York City FC (@NYCFC) July 24, 2014
Frank Lampard casts doubt on England future after signing for @NYCFC:"Now I know where I'm playing I need to think about my England future."— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) July 24, 2014
TSN's Luke Wileman provided an assessment from Claudio Reyna, the club's director of football operations:
Claudio Reyna on Frank Lampard: "Simply said he's one of the greatest players in Premier League history." #MLS— Luke Wileman (@LukeWileman) July 24, 2014
It was long speculated, per Sky Sports, following his departure from Chelsea that Lampard would join Manchester City's American sister club, New York City FC, and those rumors turned out to have plenty of legs.
After beginning his career with West Ham, Lampard made the move to Chelsea, where he spent 13 prolific seasons piling up goals, assists, hardware and countless other achievements. He left Stamford Bridge as a legend and arguably the greatest player in club history.
"When I arrived at this fantastic club 13 years ago I would never have believed that I would be fortunate enough to play so many games and enjoy sharing in so much success," he wrote, via the Daily Mail, after announcing his departure from the West London outfit.
Squawka gave a visual look at his unbelievable career with the Blues, while BBC's Ian McGarry summed up Lamps as a player:
As Opta Sports added, he also left as the second-most productive player in Premier League history:
272 - Only Alan Shearer (324) had been involved in more @PremierLeague goals (scored & assisted) than Frank Lampard. Delivery.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) June 2, 2014
Is his new club getting the same player who at times transcended the game? Not likely.
He played sporadically for Jose Mourinho during the 2013-14 campaign, finishing with six goals and three assists in 26 Premier League appearances (20 starts).
But that's not to say he isn't a valuable player. Showing glimpses of classic Lamps, he scored a brace against West Ham in November and delivered the beautiful in-swinger for John Terry's stoppage-time game-winner (Lampard was actually credited with the goal, officially) against Everton in February.
He is still a dangerous scoring threat from distance, can set others up from the midfield and, as a consummate professional, brings an important veteran presence to the locker room. As BBC's David Ornstein noted in June, there was little doubt around the world he was still full of class on the pitch:
Lampard has received offers from 16 clubs around the world but will not consider any of them or make a decision until after World Cup #cfc— David Ornstein (@bbcsport_david) June 2, 2014
Alas, New York City FC is lucky enough to secure his services, and while it won't be as pronounced as with Chelsea, you can expect Lampard to quickly start building another productive stint with his new club.
As for the Blues, the addition of Cesc Fabregas in the midfield will help ease the move away from their legend.