Chelsea manager Frank Lampard has dismissed reports doubting Christian Pulisic’s talent based on his US nationality, stating that RB Salzburg’s American manager Jesse Marsch misread a conversation.
Marsch, who is one of the most respected coaches outside the US, recently said Lampard told him he doubted Pulisic’s talents when he arrived in West London last summer after Borussia Dortmund made a £ 58m move (£ 75m Dollars) – but Lampard has claimed that Marsch got the wrong end of this particular conversation.
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As Marsch said, Lampard told him that Pulisic, who was only 20 when he arrived in Chelsea, still had a lot to learn about top-flight football, despite having scored twice in the friendly against Marsch’s Salzburg team.
Pulisic was not an integral part of Lampard’s team last season, mostly due to injury, but recorded an impressive 11 goals and 10 assists in 34 appearances in all competitions.
He is now the owner of Chelsea’s number 10 jersey, previously occupied by Willian and Eden Hazard. This is a significant vote of confidence for the most expensive U.S. international in history, ahead of a season that will continue to stretch for the 22-year-old’s already stellar reputation.
“I was surprised that Jesse had managed to read my mind as well as he thought,” said Lampard of Marsch’s comments.
“He got the conversation wrong. We played against Salzburg and Christian scored two goals. Jesse came up to me and said what a talented player Christian was, what I knew. I talked about it being just as exciting to see how he would. ” Jesse managed to convey it a little differently. “
Lampard spent some time in the United States and later played for New York City FC. He stressed that he knew the talent and desire of some American players – especially Pulisic – very well.
“I played in America for 18 months and I would never underestimate the desire [US] Football players need to understand the technical side of the game. If you have what Christian has, and you have incredible talent, it has never been in doubt for me. “
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Pulisic has made just five appearances for Chelsea this season as he continues to recover from an injury in the FA Cup final loss to London rivals Arsenal in early August. He scored his first goal of the season in the 4-0 away win for Chelsea against Krasnodar in the middle of the week.