Marco van Ginkel has been extremely impressive during his first preseason with the club, enough so that many fans have quieted their calls for Chelsea to add another central midfielder to the mix. The former Vitesse man had a few quotes today for AD, and since google translate gave me some very odd looking translation, I'll turn it over to someone that actually speaks the language:
Van Ginkel: "At Chelsea, they said to me: 'This will be Lampard's last year and you're in our plans to succeed him.'" [AD]— Mark Will Stinson (@TheWSNetwork) August 14, 2013
I'm sure this will have many fans up in arms, as nobody really wants to see Lampard leave the club. There comes a point where age catches up to everyone though, and as he'll be turning 36 next summer, Lampard is certainly near the end of his time as a full time player.
That said, I don't think I'd read this as Chelsea making definite plans to let Lampard leave after his contract expires in July. That may well end up happening, but the idea that they need someone to eventually fill his role does not necessarily mean that the club would have no interest in retaining Lampard. The club have carried experienced players that offered far less than Lampard does for the past several years, and resigned Henrique Hilario again this summer after it became clear that his roster spot wasn't an issue. Unless homegrown spots on the roster are suddenly at a premium or wage demands aren't anywhere in line with performance, it's not ridiculous to believe he'll still be playing (less) in Blue during the 2014/15 season.
Regardless of what Van Ginkel means for Lampard, I'm simply thrilled to see that the Blues have found a young, potentially world class player to add into the first team mix. With guys like Tomas Kalas, Romelu Lukaku, Kevin De Bruyne, and Van Ginkel in the Chelsea squad this year, it ought to make reduced roles for John Terry and Frank Lampard easier to stomach.