NYCFC’s Frank Lampard Joins Manchester City on Loan


After recently becoming NYCFC’s second designated player, English midfielder Frank Lampard is packing his bags yet again.  This time, the 36-year-old is heading right back to the league where he spent the entirety of his career.  Lampard will join NYCFC’s parent club, Manchester City,  on a six month loan deal.  The New York City based club does not start their inaugural season until March of 2015, and has already sent out their other designated player, David Villa, on loan to Australian side Melbourne City.

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The move makes sense for the legendary Chelsea player, who otherwise would not play competitively until the beginning of the 2015 MLS season.  For older players like Villa and Lampard, such a long absence from top flight play could seriously impact their careers.  For Lampard, the reigning EPL Champions will be the fourth team he has played for in the English top flight.  On September 21st, Lampard will face off against his former club, Chelsea, at the Ethiad Stadium.  On January 31st Lampard will return to Stamford Bridge, in what is sure to be an emotional affair for a player who is beloved by the Chelsea fans.

Chelsea’s all time leading goal scorer is far from his prime, but still can produce at a level that can help any team in a top flight.  Last season in the EPL, Lampard netted six goals while adding three assists.  However, some members of the soccer scene have been critical of the move.  One of those critics being Arsenal head man, Arsene Wegner.  The French skipper believes that City’s motives to take on Lampard from the dormant NYC based club may be in order to get around UEFA’s Financial Fair Play rules.  City breached those rules last season, and as a result have had their Champions League roster downsized from 25 to 21.  Most importantly, City have to include five home grown (English) players in that roster.

May 21, 2013; New York, NY, USA; New York Yankees president Randy Levine (left) , Major League Soccer commissioner Don Garber (middle) and Manchester City FC chief executive officer Ferran Soriano pose for a photo after announcing the formation of the New York City Football Club as the 20th team in Major League Soccer. The team will begin play in the 2015 season. Mandatory Credit: MLS via USA TODAY Sports

What worries Wenger is the inexpensive and simple way that City were able to acquire talent, while seemingly dodging the FFP sanctions that were placed upon them.  Manchester City already are part owners of three other clubs around the world (NYCFC, Melbourne City and Yokohama F Marinos), and the number of satellite clubs that City have could increase in the near future.  For managers like Wenger, this could create an uneven playing surface as “The Blues” of Manchester can easily move players around their satellite clubs.  Regardless of the ethics inquiry surrounding this move, fans of the EPL should be delighted to have the likes of Lampard back in their presence.  While fans of NYCFC can watch their midfielder on the world’s biggest stage before the club finally begins play in the MLS.