Frank Lampard has praised Christian Pulisic and says he never doubted the USMNT star.
Pulisic, 22, jumped off the bench late on at Krasnodar on Wednesday with Chelsea leading 1-0 and within a few minutes he won a penalty kick to make it 2-0, was involved in the goal that made it 3-0 and then scored himself to make it 4-0.
Talk about a super sub.
There has been constant talk in USMNT circles that Lampard never really trusted Pulisic at the start of his Chelsea career last season, as RB Salzburg manager, American Jesse Marsch, questioned Lampard’s treatment of Christian Pulisic.
“Even Frank Lampard, when I spoke to him in preseason a year ago now, I was talking to him about having Christian Pulisic and he was kind of like, ‘Yeah, he’s got a lot to learn so we’ll see how he does.’ I said to him, ‘Listen, he was at Dortmund, and they had a high level of tactical thinking, of playing, and he was very successful,’” Marsch said.
“I could see right away that Frank Lampard’s idea of Christian Pulisic was shaped a lot by the fact that he was American and not that his football education came a lot from what has happened in Germany. Since then, I think Lampard has learned that Pulisic is a lot better than he gave him credit for.”
Lampard dismissed that notion when talking ahead of Chelsea’s trip to Burnley on Saturday (watch live, 11am ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).
“He found his feet very quickly and his performance last year was massively impressive. I never doubted Christian,” Lampard said.
A follow-up question then asked Lampard about respect for American players, and he pointed to his time playing at New York City FC in MLS and said he has huge respect for U.S. players and managers.
Lampard says Christian Pulisic has incredible talent and, like many players in his homeland, a great desire to improve and get the best from his ability. ‘He found his feet very quickly and his performance last year was massively impressive. I never doubted Christian.’#BURCHE
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) October 29, 2020
Lampard was then asked about whether Pulisic will play against Burnley on Saturday considering he did score a hat trick at Turf Moor against the Clarets last season in a breakout moment in his Chelsea career.
“I’m aware of it but I don’t always factor in games from last season. Christian played a lot of good games last season and he is an important player for us,” Lampard said. “He came on last night and we saw his qualities and it was important he had some rest last night because he’s played three games in a week since he came back from injury,” Lampard said.
So, Pulisic is clearly finding his feet after returning from injury and it would be a big shock if he isn’t included in Chelsea’s starting lineup for the game at Burnley on Saturday.https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js