According to the Guardian, Manchester United are reportedly interested in signing Chelsea stalwart Frank Lampard.
The Blues vice-captain has been told by the club that his services are no longer required at the Stamford Bridge and with the Englishman’s contract expiring at the end of the present season, United are apparently heavily monitoring the player’s situation.
Although he still possesses world-class abilities, here are three reasons why the Red Devils should not sign Lampard.
By the start of the next season, Frank Lampard will be a 35-year-old veteran, entering the twilight days of his career.
In the ever-changing modern football environment, big clubs like United need youthful stars who could form the backbone of the team for around a decade or so.
Lampard clearly does not fill this criterion.
Added to that, considering the former West Ham youngster a replacement for Paul Scholes would be a premature statement.
Both are nearing the ends of their respective careers and Lampard would only be able to create any desirable impact at United for a season at most, before becoming more of a squad player due to the eventual decline in form with growing age.
United Need a Defensive-Midfielder
Although Lampard has been often played as the deep-lying midfielder or as a box-to-box midfielder this term, the Englishman hasn’t quite stood out in these roles.
This is primarily because Lampard traditionally, has been an attacking midfielder, who now plays in a relatively deeper role due to deteriorating pace. His defensive skills are nonetheless sub-par, whereas United currently require a midfielder with clinical backline attributes.
Signing Lampard would make little sense for the Red Devils as he’ll be mostly used as the deep-playing midfielder, a role for which United already have to exceptionally yet underrated players in the form of Darren Fletcher and Michael Carrick.
What Ferguson’s troops lack is stability and protection in the centre of the park and thus it would be rather wise for the club to target a promising defensive-midfielder like Kevin Strootman instead of Lampard.
Lampard’s Arrival Will Hinder Youngsters' Development
If United do sign Lampard on a free transfer at the end of the season, one thing would be certain- the England international will appear in most of the Red Devils’ games during at-least his first 12-18 months at the club.
This could therefore hinder the development of youngsters like Nick Powell, Ryan Tunnicliffe and even Tom Cleverley.
The three are more than capable of producing the required goods for United for at-least a decade or so. However, to fulfil their promise, all trio require ample time on the pitch, something that might not be possible if Lampard dons the red jersey of Manchester.
Instead of spending a heavy sum on the salary of an ageing midfielder, Ferguson should put his faith the in the club’s famous youth policy and provide the likes of Powell and Tunnicliffe some much required playing time as in football, even 12 months could make a huge difference in the career of a youngster.