Lampard: “Pulisic’s opportunities will come”
Sunday marked the third-consecutive match in which Christian Pulisic was an unused substitute for Premier League side Chelsea.
Pulisic did not feature in either of Chelsea’s three matches over an eight-day span, which saw the club win only one of those three. The 21-year-old has struggled to get on the field of late under Frank Lampard and didn’t get a chance in the Blues 2-1 home loss to Liverpool.
Lampard was asked postmatch at Stamford Bridge of Pulisic’s lack of playing time and was honest with his response.
“He wasn’t a victim of the injuries. I’ve got a squad to pick from. Before that he had played a few games,” Lampard said. “Willian has come back in and been sharp and looked good. I decided to go with Mason [Mount] today, because we needed to stay strong in midfield and play Mason high up the pitch.”
“That is my choice to make. He will get ample opportunities. He is a young player as well as everyone is talking about Mason and Tammy and Fikayo. He is actually as young, if not younger, than some of them. His chances will come.”
Pulisic has made five appearances in all competitions, but none overall since Aug. 31st. He was called back early from U.S. Men’s National Team camp earlier this month ahead of Chelsea’s date with Wolverhampton Wanderers, but was an unused sub that match as well.
Chelsea are currently 2-2-2 in the EPL this season, sitting in 11th place in the league table. The permanent move from Borussia Dortmund to Chelsea was always going to be tough for Pulisic, but a lack of playing time is something that isn’t going to help his individual confidence. Lampard admitted he has plenty of roster decisions to make especially with numerous players returning from injury.
“I have to make choices. There is him sitting on the bench, Pedro sitting on the bench, Ross Barkley on the bench, Batshuayi, who deserves more minutes for the way he’s training at the minute. Those are the unfortunate choices I need to make,” Lampard said.
Pulisic’s next best opportunity to crack Lampard’s starting lineup could be this week as Chelsea face fourth-tier side Grimsby Town in the third round of the Carabao Cup.