Frank Lampard was arguably Chelsea’s greatest midfielder of the Premier League era.
When Harry Redknapp was confronted by a supporter about favouring his nephew over Matt Holland and Scott Canham, the West Ham United manager’s riposte could hardly have been more direct or cutting.
“I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt, there will be no comparison between what Frank Lampard will achieve in football and what Scotty Canham will achieve in football,” Redknapp ardently proclaimed at a fan forum in 1996.
“I did not want to say this in front of him. But he will go right to the very top. Right to the very top,” he added.
“There ain’t no doubt about that in my opinion. Because he’s got everything that’s needed to become a top class midfield player. His attitude is first class. He’s got strength. He can play, he can pass it. And he can score goals.”
Canham ended up playing for a rake of lower league clubs, fading into obscurity while Frank Lampard went on to become Chelsea’s all-time leading goalscorer and a UEFA Champions League winner.
‘Lamps’ was only 18 at the time, but Redknapp knew what a special talent he was even then. Not a bad prediction from the wheeler dealer.
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Words by Ste McGovern