Frank Lampard to Leave New York City FC: Latest Details, Comments and Reaction

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistNovember 14, 2016

NEW YORK, NY - JULY 30:  Midfielder Frank Lampard #8 of New York City FC thanks the fans after the match vs Colorado Rapids at Yankee Stadium on July 30, 2016 in New York City.  New York City FC defeats Colorado Rapids 5-1.  (Photo by Michael Stewart/Getty Images)
Michael Stewart/Getty Images

New York City FC have confirmed that Frank Lampard is to leave the club when his contract expires at the end of the Major League Soccer season.

The team announced the decision on their official Twitter feed:

In a statement on the NYCFC website, the 38-year-old thanked those who had made his time with the franchise memorable, saying:

My team-mates have been a pleasure to play alongside. The amazing fans have given me incredible support and backing. I have very much enjoyed my time, and I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to play for such a great club and in such an incredible city.

Bleacher Report UK also reacted to the news:

Lampard, described as "the most prolific goal-scoring midfielder of his generation" in the statement, ends his time as a NYCFC player having turned out 31 times in the sky-blue shirt, scoring an impressive 15 goals in the process.

Initially, things were tough in the United States for Lampard, as injury problems and a loan to Manchester City in 2014 did little to curry favour among the New York fanbase. He was even booed by his own supporters in May this year when coming on as a substitute, with the team suffering an embarrassing 7-0 loss to rivals New York Red Bulls.

Lampard became a key man for the team despite a testing start.
Lampard became a key man for the team despite a testing start.Michael Stewart/Getty Images

However, the former Chelsea man turned things around brilliantly. In July, he scored the first hat-trick in NYCFC's history in a 5-1 win over Colorado Rapids, before netting key goals to help the team qualify for the MLS Cup playoffs for the first time. They were eventually eliminated by Toronto FC by a 7-0 aggregate scoreline.

As noted by Richard Jolly of ESPN, Lampard's time in the States added more gloss to his astonishing career record:

Indeed, Lampard is best remembered for his remarkable feats at Chelsea, where he established himself as one of the finest midfielders in the world. When he left the club in 2014, he did so as the leading scorer in the Blues' history, having netted a remarkable 211 times.

During his time at Stamford Bridge, he also won the UEFA Champions League, as well as three Premier League titles and four FA Cups.

Naturally, questions will be asked about that the future holds for Lampard following his release. He has proved recently that he has what it takes to score goals at a decent standard, and he's still in tremendous shape—there are likely to be plenty of teams that would love to have a man of his experience around.

Dominic Fifield of the Guardian reported that Chelsea will offer Lampard a role with the club if he decides to retire.

In a statement on his Instagram account, the veteran has confirmed that he will be making an announcement soon about his next move.