Everton and US national team goalkeeper Tim Howard believes Frank Lampard should be forced to join New York City FC for the start of the 2015 Major League Soccer season, rather than extend his loan spell at Manchester City.
NYCFC, a 2015 MLS expansion side, are however, owned by the City Football Group and Howard fears that Man City’s current Premier League title chase will take precedence in the eyes of those signing Lampard’s checks.
Howard, speaking to British newspapers:
“The MLS have made their own problem. New York is owned by Man City. Frank Lampard is playing at Man City, doing very well.
“Man City own the world. I think Frank being part of a title-winning team is a little higher up their priorities. [MLS] made that bed.
“Perhaps they will have to slap Frank on the wrists and tell him he has to go to New York. But I don’t think that’s going to happen.”
Lampard was signed by NYCFC as a Designated Player in July and loaned to Man City, originally thought to be little more than a role player for the Citizens, until the end of the calendar year, when he would then join the MLS side for preseason and make his league debut in March. But Lampard has impressed on a number of occasions for Man City and become an important first-team player as a rash of injuries ravages the squad.
Man City manager Manuel Pellegrini has spoken recently of his desire for Lampard to finish the current season in Manchester, or at the very least, through January and February, a time when Yaya Toure will be away with the Ivory Coast at the African Cup of Nations.
What should Lampard do? Should he stay in Manchester and chase the fourth Premier League title of his decorated career, or fulfill his duty as NYCFC’s marquee player as the club opens its inaugural season?