New York City director of football Claudio Reyna does not expect Frank Lampard to get a hard time from the fans when he finally arrives in the Big Apple.
Lampard was expected to join Manchester City’s sister club in January, but he will now remain at the Etihad until the summer after City decided to keep hold of him.
That decision, which has left David Villa as the MLS newcomers’ only marquee player in the short term, upset some season ticket holders but ex-City midfielder Reyna believes that will be forgotten in time.
“I think they will be fine,” he told several national newspapers. “We understand the fans’ disappointment, wanting to watch him play from the beginning but he’s coming in July and he’s very, very committed. He was in a difficult situation so he doesn’t deserve any negative backlash in anyway and I don’t think he will get it.”
Reyna, who was in Manchester with New York City ahead of their maiden MLS campaign which begins next month, insisted Lampard staying with the reigning Premier League champions was never a problem.
“It was never the (original) intention to stay but he did great, it was extended for another five months but that shows how good he is and is testimony to what he’s done with City,” he added.
“Honestly, it wasn’t as big a deal for us as it was made out to be. I think who we are and the fact we are connected to Manchester City made it a bigger story which shows we are quite relevant in the League already without having played yet.”