Frank Lampard has rubbished claims made by a rival coach that he ‘didn’t rate’ Christian Pulisic and emphasised his admiration of the American midfielder.
Jesse Marsch, assistant manager of RB Salzburg, claimed Lampard didn’t rate Pulisic because of his nationality
based on a chat the pair had before a pre-season game between the two sides in which Pulisic scored twice.
But Lampard said Marsh had misinterpreted the conversation.
“I was surprised by the comments and that Jesse managed to read my mind as well as he thought he did,” he said at a press conference.
“Jesse came up to me and said what a talented player Christian was which I know and I agreed with, and I spoke about the fact it was exciting to see how he can develop for us with the talent that he has.
“That was the conversation, Jesse managed to put it across slightly differently.”
The Chelsea boss said his time with Major League Soccer side New York City gave him added appreciation for American players, and their ability to adapt to football overseas.
“I played in America for 18 months, and I would never underscore the desire that American soccer players
have to learn and improve, take on information and understand the technical side of the game,” Lampard said.
“So when you have that which Christian has and you have incredible talent, it was never in doubt, for me.”
Pulisic made 34 appearances for Chelsea last season after joining from Dortmund in 2019, scoring 11 goals
and providing 10 assists, and impressing Lampard with how soon he settled into the ‘toughest league in the world’.
“What Christian did was find his feet very quickly, and have a breakthrough season in the Premier League and he produced more goals and assists,” he added.
“So I thought his performance actually was massively impressive, but I knew that he will get better and better because he’s a young player.
“As a manager I’ve never doubted Christian and it’s important to put that straight.”