Frank Lampard is having the time of his life on loan at Manchester City. But he’s moved to quash rumors that he could be set for an extended period of time on loan at the Etihad Stadium.
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The former Chelsea and England midfielder, 36, signed for New York City FC in Major League Soccer in the summer but was immediately loaned out to NYC FC’s sister club, Manchester City, to get game time before MLS’ newest franchise begins their inaguaral season in March 2015.
Lampard’s loan with City is slated to end in January, but after scoring four goals in September, including a crucial late equalizer against his former team Chelsea, the attacking midfielder has proved a shrewd addition to Manuel Pellegrini’s squad and was even named as Player of the Month by City’s fans.
However in an interview with the Manchester Evening News, Lampard confirmed that his loan will expire in January and nothing has changed despite his good form for the Citizens.
“I am contracted here until January,” Lampard said. “I am enjoying every minute of training at this level and being able to get game time. That is as far as it goes at the moment… Speculation has come because of a couple of goals. But at the moment there is nothing to be said.”
There was one small thing Lampard left out in his comments. The exact date he will return to start his North American adventure.
If he returns at the start of January, as previously expected, Lampard will spend the entire preseason campaign with NYC FC and get to know all of the players and Jason Kreis’ coaching staff. However his fairytale ending at Stamford Bridge on January 31 looms large, as that’s when Manchester City travel to West London to play Chelsea.
Lampard, even though he’s not saying it publicly, would love to get the chance to say a proper farewell to his adoring fans at Stamford Bridge. When he scored against Chelsea at the Etihad last month he almost apologized to the Chelsea fans crammed into the away section before blowing them kisses and waving forlornly.
It remains to be seen if he’ll be handed the perfect end to his Premier League career, as he may have to delay his arrival in MLS by a few weeks if he plays in City’s match against Chelsea. Commonsense should prevail here: let Lampard stay on loan until January 31 to play in that game. The MLS regular season won’t start until March and Lampard will be training and getting game-time in the PL with Man City during the early days of NYC FC’s first-ever preseason. He will be fit, sharp and deserves to end his glittering career as Chelsea’s all-time leading scorer with a proper farewell he didn’t get to have after being let go over the summer.