Chelsea manager Frank Lampard believes Christian Pulisic has what it takes to become one of the best wingers in the Premier League.
“He has the ability of the Raheem Sterlings who are producing numbers from wide areas, the (Mohamed) Salahs and (Sadio) Manes,” Lampard told Joe Prince-Wright of NBC’s ProSoccerTalk. “It’s important he understands the work that needs to be done to do that because he definitely has the talent to do that. He needs to try and get to that level.
“I’m delighted to have him at the minute. He works hard every day and he has to set his sights as high as he possibly can.”
Pulisic, who joined Chelsea from Borussia Dortmund for £57.6 million last summer, has improved dramatically since the early days of the Premier League season. He came off the bench to equalize at Aston Villa on June 21 and seared through Manchester City’s defense to score in Thursday’s 2-1 win over the former champions.
The cameo appearance against Villa was Pulisic’s first since New Year’s Day. The 21-year-old missed most of February and March with an adductor injury, and the season was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic by the time he regained fitness.
Critics accused Pulisic of being too shy at the start of his Premier League career. The acquisition of Timo Werner, who can play on Pulisic’s left flank, increased the pressure on the American international to perform.
“I think he can become a really big player,” Lampard said. “When you look at his age, because he broke through at such a young age in Germany, and he moves to us, and people – their expectations rise. We have to take his age into consideration but there’s no doubting the quality. We can see that.
“He’s very keen to improve and to work, and he’s particularly hungry at the minute because he missed some time with his injury.”
Pulisic has scored seven goals in 18 Premier League appearances thus far.