Ray Wilkins speaks out about Frank Lampard and speculates about Chelsea's next manager

Scott Heavey

Did we really expect Ray Wilkins to think it would be best to let Frank Lampard leave?

Former Chelsea assistant (and 1-game caretaker) Ray Wilkins had some comments today when he spoke to BBC radio about Chelsea's need to extend Frank Lampard and who might be lined up to replace 'the interim one'. He thinks Chelsea would be making a mistake by letting Lampard leave, and believes he's still got plenty to offer the club:

"Frank has to stay. I can't see why this situation is happening, he has done more than a job for Chelsea this season and will continue to do so with his fitness level and enthusiasm for the game."

"You look at Ryan Giggs being offered another year at the age of 39 and there's a manager [Sir Alex Ferguson] who knows how to handle the senior professionals."

Wilkins worked with Lampard for many years, so it's little surprise that he'd back the player and want to see him stay with the club. Regardless, it's nice to see former coaches backing Chelsea's players, even if it likely won't mean anything to the situation.

Wilkins also had some speculation about four men whom he believes Roman Abramovich and Chelsea might be considering to replace Rafa Benitez in the summer:

"I think there are four that he might be looking at. Pellegrini at Malaga, Simeone at Atletico Madrid and then coming back to our own country Gus Poyet has cut his teeth in the lower leagues with Leeds and Swindon and now doing a remarkably good job. He knows the club inside out."

"I know for a fact he's a great fan of Gianfranco Zola who is doing a wonderful job at Watford. It's a really difficult situation for everyone concerned because a decision won't be made until well into the close season one will have thought."

This seems to be nothing but speculation from Wilkins, but it's still interesting that he doesn't mention Jose Mourinho at all. Both Pellegrini and Simeone are interesting names to be linked to, but I doubt that the club have any sort of real interest in either Poyet or Zola at this time. Both have been doing a fine job in the lower levels of English football, but I can't see either having the sort of resume to catch Abramovich's eye just yet.

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