The training room at New York City FC is set to be a barren place in the next few months as every time the new MLS franchise signs a player they head out on loan almost immediately.
Manchester City’s connections with both the American club and Melbourne Victory has already aided David Villa’s short term switch Down Under, but the Citizens themselves are keen to get hold of Frank Lampard.
The former Chelsea midfielder is reportedly close to returning to the Premier League for six months while New York City get ready for their MLS debut, and if he does join City the midfielder could play a key role in helping them best his old employers.
The Blues are 4/5 favourites to finish ahead of City in 2014/15, but the reigning league champions’ 19/20 odds will look the better bet if they can grab Lampard on loan.
Last season was the first since 2002/03 that Lampard didn’t notch at least ten league goals.
Chelsea’s all-time top scorer has been one of the most consistent goal-grabbers in the Premier League for over a decade, an especially remarkable feat considering he’s a midfielder.
Even last year, when Jose Mourinho used him more sparingly, Lampard notched six league goals, a tally bettered by only six City players.
The Sky Blues are heavily reliant on Yaya Toure’s goals from midfield, with Fernandinho and new signing Fernando unlikely to chip with many, but Lampard will lessen the load on the Ivorian’s shoulders.
The midfielder’s best work was done before Christmas last year, bagging four goals and three assists in the league.
Inspired by the return of his favourite manager Lampard hit the ground running with a goal in Chelsea’s very first game last year against Hull, before grabbing an assist in their second match.
In total all but two of Lampard’s league goals and assists came before Christmas, suggesting City have picked him up for the best part of his season.
The Citizens themselves have made slow starts in both of the past two campaigns, something Lampard’s arrival should help address.
Lampard is a big game specialist, starting four of Chelsea’s six games against the rest of the league’s top four last term.
Mourinho knew he couldn’t count on Lampard as much as in his first spell at Stamford Bridge, but still turned to the veteran when they faced their title rivals.
The 36-year-old’s steady presence helped the Blues go six games without defeat against City, Arsenal and Liverpool, winning five.