Skip to main content

Frank Lampard singles out Christian Pulisic for praise – and defends decision to not use him earlier

Christian Pulisic

Frank Lampard has defended his decision to ease Christian Pulisic into the Chelsea team this season.

The United States international was only occasionally involved in the opening weeks of the campaign, but has since exploded into life.

The former Borussia Dortmund (opens in new tab) man has scored five times in his last three Premier League games, including a hat-trick in a 4-2 win at Burnley (opens in new tab) and a goal in Saturday’s 2-0 defeat of Crystal Palace (opens in new tab).

Pulisic is now one of the first names on Lampard’s team sheet, having been restricted to just three top-flight starts between the start of the season and late October.

But the Chelsea (opens in new tab) boss insists Pulisic’s excellent form is not vindication for his decision to hold him back early on.

“I don't think it's vindication, I think it's more that Christian came from another league and didn't have a break [after the Gold Cup].

“He played some games early on and the pace of the Premier League is tough for any player, it's been proven time and time again.

“But with Christian, I always believed that he had huge talent and was going to be a big player for us, and he's absolutely showing that.

"I thought he was first-class today, as he has been recently. Energy, movement of the ball, slipping past people, working off the ball and the quality. He's getting into areas and scoring in and around the six-yard box, which I think is a huge thing for any wide player."

"The only frustration is he comes off with a bit of an injury, which he was going to get subbed off for before his goal. He's got a bit of a hip issue but I'm hoping it's not too bad because the way he's in full flow at the minute is great to see.”

Chelsea’s triumph over Palace moved them to within five points of Premier League leaders Liverpool (opens in new tab), who have a game in hand.


Granit Xhaka may have played his last game for Arsenal – but how much of this saga could have been avoided? (opens in new tab)

How Jurgen Klopp replaced Jose Mourinho as Pep Guardiola's greatest opponent (opens in new tab)

12 hilarious times outfielders went in goal (including the chairman's son (opens in new tab)

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Greg Lea is a freelance football journalist who's filled in wherever FourFourTwo needs him since 2014. He became a Crystal Palace fan after watching a 1-0 loss to Port Vale in 1998, and once got on the scoresheet in a primary school game against Wilfried Zaha's Whitehorse Manor (an own goal in an 8-0 defeat).