Frank Lampard is heading to the United States expecting his old clubs to remain as the Premier League’s top two.
The former England midfielder believes Chelsea and Manchester City are both equipped to dominate the English game in the coming years.
Chelsea came out on top this season, controlling the title race from the start, but Lampard expects last year’s champions City - runners-up this time - to be back strong. Comparing the two clubs, Lampard said: “It’s exactly the same. They are very much a replica of each other and the clubs I think are going to be the top two clubs for the next few years, I really do.
“That’s in English football and hopefully going into Europe because they’ve got great foundations. They are looking to the future with the training grounds the academies and, with the squads as they are, I think that will be the way they will be.”
Lampard, 36, has seen at first hand just how ambitious and progressive both clubs are.
His career will be synonymous with Chelsea, having enjoyed his best years at Stamford Bridge and left the London club as their record goalscorer last summer. He has spent the past season at the Etihad Stadium after signing for City as a short-term measure before hooking up with their sister club New York City this summer.
“Man United are probably going to spend a lot of money, they’ve got a strong team, and Arsenal are always there or thereabouts,” said Lampard, who signed off at City with a goal in Sunday’s season-ending 2-0 win over Southampton.
“But from being inside the camps at Chelsea - for such a long time - and at City, I know what they’ve got. I know the quality.
“I think Chelsea certainly deserved the title this year because of the way they played and their consistency level but it is all up for grabs again next year.”
Meanwhile Didier Drogba decided to leave Chelsea to give youth a chance. Drogba’s final match after two spells totalling nine years as a Chelsea player concluded with Sunday’s 3-1 win over Sunderland, after which the Blues lifted the Premier League title.
Drogba, Cech and captain John Terry were in the teams which have won all of Chelsea’s four Premier League titles, but the striker now says manager Jose Mourinho should look to the future. Drogba believes the Blues need to strengthen in a bid to win the Champions League title they won in 2012 again and should show faith in youth. “The team needs to be stronger next year to compete in the Champions League,” said Drogba, after Chelsea’s last-16 elimination on away goals to Paris St Germain this term. “They are going to buy new players. Also we have young players coming up, the (Dominic) Solankes, (Ruben) Loftus-Cheeks, (Nathan) Akes, all these boys. They need to play.” Drogba is deliberating over his next destination and says he could never play for another English club.
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