Jermain Defoe has warned Chelsea that they will be unable to replace Frank Lampard if they release him at the end of the season.
The England midfielder has hit 14 goals in all competitions this campaign for the Blues, despite controversy surrounding his future, and he continued his good form with a strike against San Marino as Roy Hodgson’s men beat the minnows 8-0 in Serravalle.
Defoe, who trained alongside Lampard at West Ham at the start of his career, reckons Chelsea would be making a huge mistake letting the 34-year-old leave the club on a free transfer.
And he even thinks that the midfielder, who could become the Stamford Bridge side’s leading all-time goal scorer this season, still has plenty left to offer at the top level of football.
Defoe said: "I was with Frank at West Ham when I was really young and, even then, his finishing was unbelievable.
"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."