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Mar 23, 2013

Defoe: Chelsea must keep Lampard

Jermain Defoe has told Chelsea they must tie Frank Lampard to a new contract as soon as possible as he is irreplaceable.

• Blog: Chelsea must stop transition

There are doubts over Lampard's future at Stamford Bridge with his current contract due to expire at the end of the season but he underlined his value to the team last weekend by scoring his 200th goal for the club in the 2-0 Premier League win against West Ham.

His goal in England's 8-0 World Cup qualifying win against San Marino on Friday night, his 28th in an international shirt, made him the country's highest scoring midfielder. And Defoe, a former team-mate of Lampard's at Upton Park, believes he can continue playing at a high level for years to come.

"I was with Frank at West Ham when I was really young and, even then, his finishing was unbelievable," he said. "He finishes like a forward. There are not many like him, he loves scoring goals and when, he gets the chances, he doesn't miss.

"I don't know his situation at Chelsea but in my opinion he is someone you can't replace because of the amount of goals he has scored over the years. He is a special player. He can easily go on for another two or three years.

"At the end of the day you know you are going to get goals. You know what you are going to get from Frank and goals win games. I'm sure Chelsea won't get rid of him. He is a special player."

Defoe's sentiments were echoed by Joe Cole, who said: "To be honest with you, if Frank's out of contract, the way he's playing, all the top clubs in Europe are going to be queuing up," he told Absolute Radio's Rock'N'Roll Football.

"It's unbelievable if he doesn't get offered a deal really, because he's still one of the top midfielders in Europe. And I don't know how many goals he's scored this year, but he just doesn't stop. He's a machine."

Meanwhile, after the comfortable win against San Marino, Lampard, who was captain in the absence of the rested Steven Gerrard, immediately turned his attention to the game against Montenegro on Tuesday night.

"Some of their players are playing at the top level in European football right now and we have been there before so we know the dangers," he said. "You look at the state of the group and it's a really critical game and we have to be ready for it."

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