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Rowland exclusive: Lampard transformed leaving West Ham nest for Chelsea

Former teammate of Frank Lampard, Keith Rowland, has said the Chelsea manager was forced to work hard for his success as a player.

Speaking in an interview with Tribal Football, the former West Ham and Northern Ireland full-back said Lampard's move to Chelsea was the best for his career after some early struggles at West Ham.

Rowland played for West Ham between 1993 and 1998 while Lampard was emerging, where his uncle Harry Redknapp was the manager between 1994 and 2001.

The Aveley FC manager said: "Frank had to work hard for his success and it was difficult for him because his dad was the assistant and Harry, the manager, was his uncle.

"But Harry saw something in him even when he struggled. Bringing in Steve Lomas was a great help for him but going to Chelsea was the best choice for him."

Lampard went on to become a star for Chelsea and England during his 13-year stint at Stamford Bridge.

Rowland adds: " He needed to get away from the club, and he obviously went on to have a great career."

Lampard made over 640 appearances for the Blues and won three Premier League titles and the Champions League, with many regarding him as one of the best midfielders of his generation.

The 41-year-old has enjoyed a successful start to his time as a manager, leading Derby County to the play-offs last season and now at Chelsea, who are now fourth in the Premier League.

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William Dodds

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