Benitez: Lampard is 'fantastic'

Rafael Benitez insists Frank Lampard is not being discarded by Chelsea because he is past his best.

Last Updated: 14/12/12 at 17:36 Post Comment

Latest Articles

Rafael has agreed to move to Lyon from Manchester United

Post comment

Brazilian right-back Rafael has agreed to move to Lyon from Manchester United.

Leeds 'set to sign' Brentford winger Stuart Dallas

Post comment

Leeds are set to complete the signing of Stuart Dallas from Brentford, according to Sky sources.

All Articles

Frank Lampard: 'A great professional

Frank Lampard: 'A great professional

Interim manager Benitez claimed the Stamford Bridge decision-makers who have halted contract talks with the England midfielder had no doubt about "his condition, his levels, his quality".

Benitez suggested owner Roman Abramovich and the board were analysing "different things", but did not go into more detail.

It is only possible to speculate what they might be but one could be the fact that Lampard is one of the highest earners at the club during an era of Financial Fair Play.

His age, 34, and recent injury record might also come into it but Benitez told BBC Sport: "For sure, he's a fantastic player, a great professional - there's no doubt about this.

"Also, when I talk to the people in charge, they are telling me the same, so nobody has any doubt about his condition, his levels, his quality.

"So the decision could be analysing different things, not just the quality of the player."

Lampard insisted he had "two or three years at least" left to give as an elite footballer - even if Chelsea appeared to think otherwise.

He admitted on Thursday his glittering career with the European champions could be drawing to a close after revealing he was not in talks with them over a new contract to replace the one that expires next summer.

Lampard appeared resigned to his fate after helping Chelsea into the Club World Cup final in Yokohama, coming off the bench against Monterrey for his second appearance since recovering from a troublesome calf problem.

That compounded an injury-hit 2012 but Lampard made it clear he had more to give.

"I feel like I have two or three years, at least, in me at the top level," he said.

"It is not for me to decide on this one. It's up to the club.

"Whatever happens, I have had a great time at Chelsea. I am determined to play a few more years and see what pans out in the near future."

Lampard, whose 11 years' service at Chelsea and third place in the club's all-time list of scorers has seen him become an heroic figure there, added: "There have been no talks about anything about an extension.

"Maybe things don't last forever. Although I want it to last forever, you have to be big enough to know what it is."

Lampard has been linked with moves to Los Angeles Galaxy, Chinese club Guizhou Renhe and a host of other clubs - even Chelsea's Barclays Premier League rivals Arsenal.

Already short in midfield, Chelsea are unlikely to let him leave in January but he could sign a pre-contract agreement elsewhere.

Lampard added: "I'm not the kind of player to see out my time and sit with my bum on the bench too much. I want to be involved.

"I will keep trying to do that, whatever the circumstances."


Click here for completely free £10 bet with Sky Bet & £5 free every week


Football365 Facebook Fan Page

The Football365 fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

Footer 365

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has 'difficult questions'

Arsenal centre-half Per Mertesacker says manager Arsene Wenger has a lot of "difficult questions" to answer.

West Ham forward Enner Valencia ruled out for up to 12 weeks

West Ham forward Enner Valencia has been ruled out for up to 12 weeks with a leg injury.

Jordy Clasie says he'd have rejected move to Man United in order to join Southampton

Jordy Clasie claims he'd have rejected Man United to sign for Southampton - saying it's "better to start lower and finish higher".

Mail Box

There's A Lot Of Anger About TV...

...and how much you have to pay - largely for games you don't actually want to watch. Many of you are forced to go illegal. We also have mails on Chelsea, Angel di Maria and...

Not Just A Friendly. This Had Meaning...

Arsenal fans are very excited about beating Chelsea (don't remind them about last year), while there is criticism for BT and a football fan tired of being screwed by TV...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company