Frank Lampard’s decision to sign a new contract with Chelsea and shun the advances of Inter Milan was hardly a surprise.
The midfielder made a wise choice if he based the decision on the previous experiences of English players in Italy.
Only David Platt at Sampdoria was really a success. Ian “it’s like living in a foreign country” Rush lasted just a season at Juventus while the likes of Luther Blissett, Lee Sharpe, Ray Wilkins, Des Walker, Paul Ince, and Jay Bothroyd hardly set Serie A alight.
Paul Gascoigne was injured for much of his time at Lazio. Rather than his stunning play, he is best remembered here in Italy for shocking the nation by burping into a microphone.
In recent years only David Beckham at Real Madrid can claim to have done well away from English shores. That’s largely because he was one of the few who dared to try something new.
I actually think Lampard would have been a success at Inter, especially playing under former Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho. The Italian champions, and Serie A in general, are crying out for a goalscoring central midfielder.
Instead Lampard will start another English season this weekend, admittedly with packed stadiums and bags of money in his pocket. Recovering Serie A can’t quite compete with that.