Frank Lampard (32 Premier League appearances, 3 Champions League appearances): 7/10
At times this season, it seemed bizarre to see Frank Lampard in a City uniform, as he was Chelsea's midfield warrior for countless seasons. When he scored the late second-half equalizer against Chelsea in just his second match with City, it was truly difficult to process what had just occurred.
Speaking of bizarre, Lampard's season off the field was just that. With the controversy surrounding his contract situation and his imminent move to the MLS, Lampard found himself in a sticky situation. All of this came on the heels of his anticlimactic departure from Stamford Bridge.
Now, this does not detract from the fact that he is a living legend and served as an important contributor for City this season.
His on-field production during his sole season with the club was strong considering his playing time was constantly fluctuating and his role in the team varied from game to game. He often played the role of the second-half substitute, providing invaluable experience in the waning moments of matches (much like Xavi's role with Barcelona this season). In other scenarios, he found himself in the starting XI, though he often exited matches well before to the final whistle.
After scoring four goals in his first four appearances for City, Lampard looked like an absolute steal, even though his Aguero-esque sniping abilities were bound to subside sooner versus later. Lampard's goal tally inevitably declined. In fact, he only logged two goals in 2015, one on New Year's Day and one in his final match for City.
While it is certainly easier for a central midfielder to get into the rhythm of a game if he indeed starts, Lampard was able to make an impact as a sub on numerous occasions. Interestingly enough, he scored as many goals when coming off the bench this season as he did when he was in the starting lineup (eight goals total, all competitions).
The only issue with the veteran starting games and logging solid minutes this season was that there is long-term chemistry that must improve in midfield. It is difficult to claim that the midfield was completely in tatters this season, but it certainly was not operating like the well-oiled machine we all hoped it would be. While I love Lampard, he is obviously not a part of the midfield equation any longer. There are some holes to seal up in the midfield, and protecting the back line will be of the utmost importance moving forward. But again, I am not looking at Lampard here. Not only has he moved on, but also we all knew what we were getting with him. He served as a wily veteran presence in midfield with great passing ability, a nose for goal and a whole lot of tread on the tires.
So, why 7/10? Well, the guy is about to turn 37. I treat ratings like proportions, meaning I am incorporating upside into the score I have given players. Eliaquim Mangala, who I gave a 5/10, is a quality player but has immense room for growth and is still pretty young (read as: Mangala was four years old when Lampard made his Premier League debut).
As for Frank the tank, the MLS and retirement are on the horizon. For what it was, Lampard's 2014/15 season, on the field, was a success in my opinion. He is a class act and consistently displays an incredible work rate. Plus, how high were expectations going to be for him this year as a role player? Lampard was City's wild card this season. He scored some crucial goals, earned decent minutes on the pitch and was just an older version of the industrious midfielder we have all admired over the years.