Frank Lampard
Lampard feels youngsters need to start at small clubs to ensure they get regular first team footballReuters

Former Chelsea and England midfielder Frank Lampard feels the Three Lions' future is looking bleak as the Premier League is not giving much first team opportunities to the young English players.

England were very disappointing at the 2014 World Cup, getting knocked out in the group stages, after failing to record a win against the likes of Costa Rica, Italy and Uruguay in Group D.

Apart from the World Cup, England have also not been very impressive in the friendly fixtures, struggling to record wins over low-key teams.

And Lampard, who recenty announced his retirement from international football, feels that the lack of first team opportunities for youngsters is England's main problem.

 "I made my West Ham debut at 17 and was a regular a year later," Lampard told Sky Sports. "If I was the same age now I wouldn't be anywhere near the Chelsea or Manchester City sides. Like the other kids I'd have had to go out on loan."

The 36-year-old, who is currently at City (on loan from newly formed MLS side New York City) feels youngsters will get more first team opportunities if they play for a smaller sides, rather than moving to big clubs straightaway.

"If it was my boy I'd think about sending him to Chelsea to have the best coaching from eight to 15 and, if possible, then send him to a club with less resources to try and get him in the first team at 18," added Lampard, who is Chelsea's all-time record topscorer with 211 goals.

"Rio Ferdinand and I were fortunate we experienced it at a young age. But the kids these days get lost. There's a stagnant patch where we hear of these good players of 15 and 16 and wonder where they are at 21."

Lampard gave an example, saying that Chelsea's Jose McEachran, who was expected to be a star once, had no option but to go out on loan year after year, after failing to establish himself in the Blues' first team.

"He had his moments but I still think he got a bit downbeat about it," Lampard added. "From being talked up he was always having to go out on loan - and where do you go from there? if the door's shut, it can stay shut."

Lampard also pointed out that youngsters should not get carried away when they sign for a big club and start earning good money.

"Then there's the fact these young lads have to focus and keep their heads when they start to earn very good money. They have to realise they haven't made it just because everyone is talking about them at 18."