Jan Molby

Chelsea right to cut Lampard loose

Jan Molby

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Despite Frank Lampard's two goals for Chelsea against Everton I think it is inevitable we will see a parting of the ways this summer, and I think it is in the club's best interests too.

We are now heading into the New Year and there has been no offer made by Chelsea. Given that he can speak to foreign clubs about a Bosman move from tomorrow morning, you have to conclude that Chelsea have already decided they are going to go without Frank from the summer onwards.

They will miss his goals from time to time but I think they trust themselves, with the money they have available, to find a replacement. Let's not forget Lampard is 35: I don't think that letting him leave is as outrageous as many people have made out. In fact it makes sense.

I know every now and again you get players who continue to play at a high level when they are 36, 37 or more, but there are very, very few of them. Frank's game takes a lot of energy: he is up and down the pitch. That can't go on forever. I think he has had a wonderful 11 years at the club but it is time to find a new challenge.

He falls into the category of player who, if he is at your club, needs to play. I don't think he would ever accept a bit-part role like Paul Scholes or Ryan Giggs at Manchester United. Wherever he is, he will want to play regularly.

What he showed against Everton is that he remains a danger in certain matches and if they extend his contract then he will be able to continue doing that in patches until he is 36 or 37.

At Goodison it was a game perfectly suited to his talents: it was physical, it was played at 100 miles an hour, there were plenty of loose balls in the penalty area. Those are the kind of games he enjoys.

But there are other matches in which he will struggle. I saw him in a couple of Champions League games earlier in the season and he didn't look up to speed. When the game is played in a different manner then he doesn't look as effective.

I think Roman Abramovich wants the new breed to play now. The likes of Ramires and Oscar need to be in the team and you have to make room for them, so players like Lampard and Ashley Cole find themselves vulnerable.

Abramovich has been keen to change the way Chelsea play for a number of years now, and he might also be keen to make things easier for whoever the next manager will be by creating a less imposing dressing room. Frank is a leading member of the old school, influential clique.

He will go down as one of the great goalscoring midfielders, and arguably Chelsea's greatest ever player, but in the end you have to move on, and that is what I think will happen to Chelsea and Lampard.

He has been at the heart of everything the club have done over the past decade and after what he did against Everton the fans are probably thinking there's no way they can play without him.

But believe me, clubs move on from players and I think this summer the time will be right for Chelsea to pursue new options in midfield.

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