Frank Lampard is not getting any younger.
Chelsea have most likely already begun the search for Frank Lampard's successor. The England International is on the wrong side of 32, and his departure will leave quite a void in the Chelsea midfield.
In his time at Stamford Bridge, Lampard has made a name for himself as one of the hardest-working midfielders in the world.
He has proved competent on both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball, and he has helped Chelsea win games that they otherwise would have lost.
Finding a replacement for the midfielder is not going to be easy, but here's a list of players that may prove suitable for Chelsea.
Ramires has shown that he is going to be a fantastic player for Chelsea in the years to come. His consistent performances and work rate have proven that he has what it takes to play at the highest level.
In his nine games this season he has put the ball in the net three times. The 24-year-old has asserted himself as an emerging talent, and a fan favorite at Stamford Bridge.
The Chelsea fans have taken to him because of his amazing work rate and his energy. He also possesses strength that has helped him prove capable on defense.
With all of these strengths, there are of course some weaknesses to the Brazilian's game.
Ramires cannot yet pass as well as Frank Lampard. But this is something that can be worked on and improved in training.
Ramires is going to be a star at Stamford Bridge, and he may just do enough to fill the void left by Frank Lampard.
Ross Barkley has been linked with the Blues, and he's a player that Chelsea would love to bring in.
The 17-year-old has already appeared in four games for Everton this season, and he looks to be a talent in the making.
Barkley's most useful attribute is his passing. The Englishman has enjoyed time in the Everton first team this season due to David Moyes' thin squad.
The Toffee's thin squad adds another dimension to this transfer. Because of their weakness in numbers, Everton are not going to be looking to sell any of their players.
That being said, if Chelsea come in with the right offer, Barkley could certainly be theirs. He would be a great young talent that could continue to develop in West London, and if Chelsea land him he may be their next Frank Lampard.
It is no secret that Chelsea want to bring Luka Modric to West London. In fact, the Modric to Chelsea deal was one of the most talked about transfer sagas in last summer's transfer window.
Modric is a key player for Tottenham. The Croatian footballer is a midfielder that can attack a defense and score goals.
He has an unreal ability to pass the ball, and unlock even the toughest of defenses. Watching Tottenham play without Modric is much different than watching Spurs compete with the midfielder in the side.
Modric is a player that will undoubtedly be pursued until either he signs for Chelsea, or renews his contract with Spurs.
If Modric does make the move to Stamford Bridge, then Chelsea will have gone a long way to replacing Frank Lampard.
Josh McEachran looks like the leading candidate to be Chelsea's next Frank Lampard. The 18-year-old has been the Blues' equivalent to Arsenal's Jack Wilshere.
He has only made one appearance for Andre Villas-Boas this season, but he is one to watch.
McEachran is a magnificent passer of the ball. His vision and creativity are well beyond his years, and he is going to be able to unlock defenses at will.
His weaknesses are his strength and his shooting. As of now he is not a ball winner, unlike Jack Wilshere.
His attacking style of play may not require the ability to win the ball, but it is an area of his game that he'll look to improve.
His shooting is also relatively weak. At the moment he has not proved to be threat in front of goal.
If the Englishman can work on these two areas of his game, he is going to be Chelsea's next Frank Lampard.
At the age of 18, the talent he already possesses is scary, and Chelsea fans are looking forward to McEachran's development.
Lucas Piazon has been called the next Kaka.
Lucas Piazon is set to officially join Chelsea in 2012's January transfer window. The Brazilian is making the move from Sao Paulo, a team that has bred the likes of Kaka and Luis Fabiano.
Piazon, who impressed Chelsea when playing for Brazil in the U-17 Championships last summer, was acquired by Chelsea some time ago, but has been ineligible to apply for a work permit.
In Piazon, Chelsea have gotten a player that has been monitored by a number of top clubs, including Italian giants Juventus.
Similar to Juan Mata, Piazon can play as an attacking midfielder, or behind the striker.
When he becomes eligible to play in January, Chelsea fans are going to be eager to get their first glimpses at Piazon.
The Brazilian first impressed in his country's U-15 squad, scoring 11 goals in just seven games.
Once promoted to the U-17 side he contributed a more tame four goals in 13 appearances.
One thing is for sure, Piazon is a proven goal scorer. If he can bring his success in front of goal with him to England, then there is no doubt that Piazon is going to be a fan favorite at Stamford Bridge.