On June 14, 2001, Chelsea completed the signing of 22-year-old West Ham midfielder Frank Lampard.
Before the transfer, Frank has already played almost 150 Premier League games and earned his first England cap. However, there were plenty of fans across the country who doubted if he was worth £11m that Chelsea spent on his signature.
Here were the doubters and questions about Chelsea’s decision on Lampard;
Andy Millward: “There seem to be quite a few nightmares around, but for the money, Lampard and [Francis] Jeffers are unproven and risky.”
Michael: “Most over-rated player and new signing in England? Step forward Frank Lampard.”
Neil: “[Gus] Poyet is a brilliant signing for Spurs, but I have to agree that Jeffers and Lampard will struggle to justify the fees. Juan Veron for Player of the Year.”
Ross Peacock: “The worst buy this season has to be Lampard. I can’t honestly understand why Chelsea bought him. What has Lampard actually achieved in the Premiership? On the other hand Poyet is a bargain.”
Chris Slater: “[Fabrizio] Ravanelli will prove all his doubters wrong with around 20 goals while overrated Lampard will struggle.”
20 years later, Jeffers and Veron are remembered among the biggest Premier League flops ever, while Ravanelli and ex-Blue Gus Poyet were very much in the twilight of their careers at that point.
Meanwhile, Frank Lampard spent 13 following seasons at Stamford Bridge, becoming the club’s all-time top goalscorer and leading them to 13 trophies, including 3 Premier League titles and the Champions League – something no one would have imagined on this day 20 years ago!