Frank Lampard’s surprise Manchester City switch has pushed countryman Jack Rodwell closer to a move to Sunderland, with several firms now closing the book on the former Everton prodigy setting sail for Wearside.
The three-cap England international has been tipped to depart the Etihad Stadium all summer long after frustrating spell in Citizen sky blue and Lampard’s temporary transfer has further hampered his chances of making an impact in Manuel Pellegrini’s side.
After signing for the champions – rated at 9/4 to defend their crown this term – sister side New York City, the Chelsea legend has been parachuted in to fight the good fight in Manchester until he’s eligible to make his MLS bow in 2015, a notion which must have had Blues fans dry-retching all weekend.
With Fernandinho, Fernando and Yaya Toure among others vying for the central-midfield berths, it’s likely Lampard’s role will be something of an ancillary one, but with City striving for world domination his experience could come in handy.
Besides, the veteran proved in the previous campaign that he’s still got the skills to do a job, despite his 36 years on the clock.
Jose Mourinho utilised Lampard in a more disciplined, defensive capacity in 2013/14, but still started him in over half of Chelsea’s matches.
His deeper abode didn’t stop him scoring six goals, while he also made three assists, completed 82.4 per cent of his passes and averaged 1.7 tackles per outing.
Clearly, his bow has room for more than a solitary string and has been filled accordingly.
The Blues reaped the rewards of Lampard’s inclusion too, losing just four of the 32 matches he started across all competitions, while they conceded just once in the 12 games he begun in 2014.
Turning to the west Londoners’ record-goalscorer on more than just an emergency basis is sure to pay dividends for Man City in the first half of next season, so backing him to start over 4.5 league games at 11/10 could prove shrewd.