Chelsea great Frank Lampard will join Manchester City on loan until January, manager Manuel Pellegrini confirmed on Saturday. The England midfielder signed for City’s sister outfit New York City FC this summer, ending 13 trophy-laden years at Chelsea where he scored a whopping 147 goals in 429 games.
With next season of Major League soccer not beginning until 2015, Premier League’s highest goal scoring midfielder has returned to his home.
Following the Premier League champions’ friendly against Olympiakos in Minneapolis on Saturday, Pellegrini confirmed the 36-year-old will now move to the Etihad before the next American season begins in March.
“As you know, Frank has signed a contract with New York City and will start working here (the United States) in January as the season starts in March,” Pellegrini told a post-match news conference.
“From next Wednesday he will start working with our team and will play for us until then. At the moment he will work with the squad and be a member of the squad. He will fight for a position.”
“He knows we have a very good team, we have a lot of players in his position. He is one player more. We have a lot of games, particularly with the Champions League — so he’s very important for our team.”
Lampard will be helping City defend their league title which they won so narrowly from Liverpool and a successful defence can handle him his 4th league title.
It’s unclear of what his role will be in the team. Consistent first team action looks doubtful but a role of a super-sub looks more likely. Another factor which is said to be the reason behind this move is his Champion’s League experience, a tournament where City have been struggling to perform for quite some time despite having a strong squad. Pellegrini has a star-studded squad of players to which Lampard would bring added craft and a winning mentality. But will he get a game for City? It doesn’t really matter. For Chelsea fans, his legend is intact and will remain so forever.
Spaniard David Villa has been New York City FC’s other high-profile signing ahead of their MLS debut next year and he has also been loaned out within the City system, moving to Melbourne City to maintain his fitness ahead of the American season.
It will be interesting to see how ‘lamps’ fits in the lighter shade of blue. Man City face Chelsea on September 21 in the Premier League. And if Lampard plays in the match, it will be a great spectacle.