Lampard to leave New York

Frank Lampard has announced he will leave New York City FC when his contract expires at the end of this year.

The 38-year-old former England, Chelsea and Manchester City midfielder joined the Major League Soccer club in 2014.

Lampard wrote on Instagram: “I leave with many great memories as I embark on the next stage of my career and I’ll be making an announcement very soon.”

Lampard, Chelsea’s record scorer, left the Blues as a free agent to sign for New York in July 2014, after 13 years at Stamford Bridge.

But his arrival in New York was delayed as he embarked on a loan spell with Manchester City, who are under the same ownership as New York City.

Lampard even scored for City against Chelsea before eventually making his debut in MLS on August 1, 2015.

The midfielder’s career in the MLS started off poorly, being hampered by injuries shortly after his arrival. However, Lampard managed to turn his fortunes around, scoring 12 goals this season and helping his side reach the Playoff quarter-finals.

In total he made 31 appearances for New York, scoring 15 goals, including the club’s first hat-trick in a win over the Colorado Rapids which ensured New York qualified for the play-offs for the first time this season.

Lampard said on “As my time at NYCFC comes to an end, I would like to thank so many people for the kindness and support that they have shown me over the last two years.

“My team-mates have been a pleasure to play alongside. The amazing fans have given me incredible support and backing.

“I have very much enjoyed my time, and I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to play for such a great club and in such an incredible city.”

New York head coach Patrick Vieira, who moved there from Manchester City, and sporting director Claudio Reyna, another ex-City player, paid tribute to Lampard.

Vieira said: “Everybody talks about Frank’s goal-scoring record from midfield, but I can tell you after a year of working with him, he brings so much more to a team than just goals.

“It is clear that Frank has embraced playing in this league and for this club. I am grateful for his service in my first year here and I wish him the very best in whatever he chooses to do next.”

Reyna added: “On and off the pitch he has been a fantastic ambassador.

“Frank will always be part of the history of this club and we thank him for playing an important role in so many special moments in our young history.”

It remains to be seen whether he will continue playing football, or move on to pastures new. He certainly won’t have a lack of options, having been offered a fast track into coaching by the FA earlier this year, while also having plenty of punditry work under his belt already.

Lampard won three Premier League titles in his time at Chelsea, while also having success in Europe, winning the Champions League and Europa League in successive seasons.

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