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Mourinho: Fabregas not Lampard's replacement

ESPN staff
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Frank Lampard's contract at Chelsea expired at the end of last season © Getty Images
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Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho insists that former Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas has not been bought to fill the void of Frank Lampard as he believes the latter is "irreplaceable."

After his contract expired at Chelsea this summer, Lampard, 36 - Chelsea's record goalscorer - has joined Premier League champions Manchester City on loan from New York City for the first half of the season, a move confirmed earlier this week.

Chelsea spent around £30 million bringing Fabregas to London from Barcelona, but Mourinho told Rio Ferdinand during a pre-season event at central London's BT Tower that such a legendary player as Lampard could not be replaced.

"Frank is Frank, he is irreplaceable, no chance," he said. "We have to forget Frank because as you know he is a very special man but very, very special player.

"I think we can never say, in spite of Cesc, who is a fantastic player as you know, you can never say, 'This guy is coming to replace Frank', because Frank is Frank. One day he will be with Peter Osgood in a statue [outside Stamford Bridge] because he's fantastic."

Mourinho also hopes that Fabregas' move back to the Premier League can help spur Chelsea in their fight for silverware after an unusually dry season in 2013-14.

"Fabregas is the player we need to modify a little bit the profile of our game, which we need," Mourinho added. "We want to give the next dimension to our game in midfield and Fabregas is this kind of player which I like to call 'the seven', because he's not the six and he's not the eight."

"Normally the seven is the winger, I also call the seven the guy in midfield who's not the six, he's not the eight. Or he's a six and eight at the same time. So he's a seven and we need him a lot."

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