Jose Mourinho: Frank Lampard is the past and Cesc Fabregas the future of Chelsea

Portuguese manager hails £30m signing after brilliant solo strike

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The Independent Football

Jose Mourinho has said new midfielder Cesc Fabregas is the future of the club and the right player to replace club legend Frank Lampard.

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The Chelsea manager allowed the 36-year-old to leave after his contract expired at the end of last season.

Chelsea fans were upset that Lampard, who is the club's all-time leading goalscorer and third on the all-time appearances list, was allowed to leave - especially now he has joined title rivals Manchester City on a short-term loan.

But Mourinho has said that new boy Fabregas can replace the England international after seeing him score a brilliant solo goal against Ferencvaros in a pre-season friendly; picking up the ball from a throw-in on the right hand side, Fabregas weaved his way past mesmerised defenders before slotting into the corner.

"Frank is the history of the club, history nobody can forget," said Mourinho after the match. "Fabregas is the future; history is history but the future is more important at the moment.

"My opinion, and the opinion of my players, is that Fabregas is the right player to occupy that central position in midfield."

Fabregas arrived from Barcelona for £30m earlier this summer after an up and down time with his boyhood club.

The 27-year-old scored 42 goals and added 48 assists in 151 matches for the Catalan giants, but was often in and out of the team or playing in unfavoured positions.

Fabregas has played well in pre-season, along with his solo strike he scored a stunning 30-yard free-kick against Vitesse Arnhem and has linked up well with £32m striker Diego Costa.

Lampard was presented as a New York City FC player in July

Mourinho has seen his players return to duty in dribs and drabs with some players given extended breaks after the World Cup. Chelsea travel to Burnley on Monday night as they begin their quest to win the Premier League for the first time since 2009-10.

"It’s been a difficult pre-season because we started with seven players," added Mourinho.

"After that, step by step, players were arriving after the World Cup and holidays. Finally, in this last week we’ve had everybody together but obviously not everyone is prepared. For example, Ivanovic has been training for one month, Schurrle has trained for five days, so there is a big difference between players.

"We have to play the first league match next weekend and we will be ready for that."