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Why Chelsea Will Regret Frank Lampard Exit

STOKE-ON-TRENT, ENGLAND - JANUARY 12:  Frank Lampard of Chelsea celebrates during the Barclays Premier League match between Stoke City and Chelsea at the Britannia Stadium on January 12, 2013, in Stoke-on-Trent, England. (Photo by Chris Brunskill/Getty Images)
Chris Brunskill/Getty Images
Kevin StottSenior Analyst IJanuary 14, 2013

Some things just make no sense.

Things like the popularity of Tyler Perry movies or Nickelback; O'Doul's non-alcoholic beer comes to mind; Donald Trump's hair; Crocs.

And rumors that Chelsea will be letting Frank Lampard go.

The latest torrent of stories about the matter almost all indicate that Blues owner Roman Abramovich is intent on letting the 34-year-old vice captain go when his contract expires this summer.

Lampard's agent, Steve Kutner said in a recent Daily Mirror interview, that Chelsea management have no intentions of offering the player a new contract when his current one is up.

Chelsea executives told Frank in Japan during the Club World Cup then again reconfirmed with me after the Everton victory that in no circumstances will he be offered a new contract to stay at the club after the end of this season.

If true, what does this say about the Chelsea suits and Abramovich and their loyalty to veteran Blues' players?

Lampard's form since returning from a calf injury has been superb as the box-to-box midfielder continues to score goals for the European champions. Although he missed a number of games, Lampard is still tied with Fernando Torres and Juan Mata for the club lead with seven goals in English Premier League play.

His penalty-kick goal on Saturday against Stoke City in Chelsea's 4-0 win over the Potters was his 194th for Chelsea. That puts him nine goals behind all-time club record-holder Bobby Tambling.

Lampard still has game, is a club legend and team leader, is a proven scorer and a renowned penalty-kick machine. Letting such a player go is a horrible decision and sends all the wrong kind of messages from Stamford Bridge.

Abramovich has a desire to turn Chelsea into a Blue Barcelona with smaller, ball-control players on its roster. Players like Nicolas Anelka, Didier Drogba and Salomon Kalou have all been let go recently in this ongoing metamorphosis.

Lampard, a three-time Chelsea Player of the Year, looks like he could be next along with Ashley Cole. Fellow veteran legends John Terry and Petr Čech had better watch out.

Blues players have to hate the thought of losing Lampard—who has long been a rumored target of the Los Angeles Galaxy of Major League Soccer as well as several other clubs—who brings some wisdom to a midfield now loaded with guys in their 20's.

Many players, including Terry and Čech, have spoken out out about the thought of losing Lampard. Unfortunately, it appears as though these appeals are falling on deaf ears.

But maybe even more than his teammates, Chelsea fans will despise the thought of the club simply letting a class act like Lampard, who has done so much, just move on.

Besides all this press and the negative nature of fans realizing their team has an owner willing to just let guys like Lampard and Drogba go, the club will have to deal with the void of physically not having talented and experienced players like them on the pitch.

The goals. The leadership. The passes. The penalty kicks. The No. 8 jersey with the name "Lampard" on it. All gone because of one extremely rich man's foolish notion.

If Manchester United can find a way to employ, and still benefit, from the services of veterans Paul Scholes (38 years old) and Ryan Giggs (39 years old), then Chelsea should also be able to find a way to retain its' vets.

But it doesn't look like that's the modus operandi now in west London.

And what makes matters worse in the case of Drogba and now possibly Lampard and Cole, is that all of the players want or wanted to stay with Chelsea. The club is quickly earning the stigma of not caring about it's old guard.

Losing games or tournaments are one thing and to be expected, but losing one of your best players ever by simply making a decision not to re-sign him has a rather unpleasant taste to it.

And doing this to Lampard may sour so many Chelsea fans for quite some time. Not to mention the possible psychological damage they may incur from possibly seeing Lampard in a Manchester United jersey or that of some other familiar foe.

Perish the thought.

If Lampard is indeed let go in five months, Chelsea and Abramovich will certainly come to regret the decision as it will say so much about the way they are now choosing to do business as well as their awareness and consideration for what die-hard fans want.

It may also further alienate players like Cole and Terry that the club will have to negotiate with in the future and decrease their own desire to want to stay with the club they have been so loyal to.

Despite the obvious upside of having a manager with seemingly unlimited funds, there is this ugly dark side revealing itself at Chelsea in the manager merry-go-round and player leakage which has unfortunately become an accepted part of the price Blues fans pay for rooting for a team owned under the reign of King Roman.

And it doesn't look to be changing soon and should the rumors of Lampard's departure come true, it may be quite some time before Blues fans start to trust management again.

 

Follow me on Twitter: @KevinStott11 

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