In one of the stranger stories of this summer, Chelsea FC legend Frank Lampard has agreed to go on a six month loan to a Premier League rival in Manchester City. City is owned by the same ownership group as Lampard’s new club New York City FC but they do not begin their season for another seven month so the midfielder needed a way to stay fit.
In this situation the expectation would be for a player to train with a club the way David Beckham did with Arsenal while he was with the Los Angeles Galaxy several years ago. Instead, Frank Lampard turned down a loan move to Australian club Melbourne City, also affiliated with Manchester City, and decided to remain in the Premier League.
This move makes no sense for a player who said in May of 2013, “I can’t imagine playing for anyone else after being 12 years at Chelsea. I’ve got a lot of respect for a lot of other Premier League clubs, particularly the top ones, but I’m not sure I could have done that.” Lampard also reportedly turned down a move to QPR for that exact reason but he appears to be just fine pulling on a Manchester City shirt.
There were also reports that Frank Lampard has requested not to play against Chelsea whom City will face twice during his loan spell, once in September and once in January. Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini has said that Lampard will play in the matches he is needed so he could very well play against his old club. The sight of Lampard in a City shirt will be shocking off but imagine the scenes if he scores against his old club.
It is one thing to make a move to another club in Europe like Dider Drogba and end up being drawn against Chelsea in the Europa or Champions League, and it is another thing altogether to choose to play for a direct rival. Frank Lampard’s loyalty to Chelsea and his accomplishments with the club will never be questioned but it seems foolish to tarnish a perfect legacy at a club just for six months of fitness. Lampard had other options to get match time and stay fit but instead he chose to play for a rival of Chelsea’s for reasons that we simply cannot understand.
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