Chelsea grooming van Ginkel to replace Lampard

Chelsea have planned for the future with the signing of Marco van Ginkel, the Daily Mirror has reported, with the Premier League club planning on using the Netherlands youngster as the long-term successor to Frank Lampard.

Van Ginkel has joined the Blues in a £9m deal from Vitesse Arnhem and has reportedly been told that over the next 18 months, he will fill the gap that will be vacated by Lampard. Lampard, who became the club’s all-time record goal scorer towards the end of last season, is now 35 and manager Jose Mourinho is preparing for the day when the midfielder hangs up his boots.

Mourinho offered such assurances to van Ginkel when the pair met to discuss van Ginkel’s role in the Chelsea team, with Mourinho convincing van Ginkel to snub interest from Ajax in order to move to Stamford Bridge. The formalities of the transfer are expected to be completed next week.

Lampard has been a Chelsea player since leaving West Ham in 2001 and was an integral part of Mourinho’s first Chelsea side, although his future at the club was in doubt until the final weeks of the season as the club hesitated over offering a contract extension to the veteran.

Nevertheless, Lampard netted his 202nd and 203rd Chelsea goals against Aston Villa, the first taking him level with Bobby Tambling’s record and the second surpassing it, to become the club’s leading goal-getter.

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