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Pulisic’s talent ‘never in doubt’ to Chelsea boss Lampard

The USA international could return to the XI for Saturday’s League game at Burnley, where he announced himself to English football with a perfect hat-trick in a 4-2 win in October last season.

Salzburg’s American coach Jesse Marsch claimed Lampard told him Pulisic had “a lot to learn” after a friendly between the clubs last year but the Chelsea manager was determined to set the record straight ahead of the tip to Turf Moor.

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Pulisic in action against Salzburg

/ AFP/Getty Images )

“I was surprised that Jesse had managed to read my mind as well as he thought he did,” Lampard said.  

“He’s recounted the conversation wrong, I have to put it correct.  

“We played Salzburg and Christian scored two goals in pre-season. Jesse came up to me and said what a talented player Christian was, which I knew and agreed with. I spoke about the fact that equally it was so exciting to see how he would develop for us with the talent that he had.  

“That was the conversation, Jesse managed to put it across slightly differently.”

Marsch claimed he “could see right away that Frank Lampard’s idea of Pulisic was shaped by the fact that he was American” and said players from the States do not get enough credit for their technical and tactical qualities.

“Maybe Jesse knows the feeling of American coaches that travel to Europe, I get that,” Lampard added. “But I played in America for 18 months and I would never underestimate the desire that American football players have to improve and understand the technical side of the game.

“When you have that, which Christian has and you have incredible talent, it was never in doubt for me.

“What Christian did was find his feet very quickly and have a breakthrough season in the Premier League where he produced more goals and assists than he had produced [previously]. His performances last year were massively impressive but he will get better and better because he is a young player. I never doubted him in the first place. It’s important for me to put that straight, more for Christian than anything.”

Thiago Silva is expected to return to the XI this weekend after being rested for the trip to Russia, with Kepa Arrizabalaga Chelsea’s only injury absentee.

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Silva should return for Chelsea

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Lampard used all five available substitutes against Krasnodar but said his squad was tired on Thursday after a gruelling roundtrip to eastern Europe.

He warned that injuries would be unpreventable in the hectic season ahead and criticised the Premier League for not sticking with the five subs rule.

“There will be some difficulties in trying to compete in this Premier League which is unforgiving for new players which have never competed in this league before,” Lampard said.

“The players have to understand that when you play every three days consistent up until Christmas and beyond, then there will be some rotations at times and we’ll need everybody.

“It will be a season like no other and none of us can control that. We can’t control the injuries that come upon us at different times.

“The ball was certainly dropped when the Premier League turned away from having five subs. These are unprecedented times in terms of situations for football. It will carry on, it’s not going anywhere in the short term. The demands on players are huge for every club. I’m not just talking about my squad, I’m talking about every football player that is being asked to play day after day and the injury risk. It has changed the landscape.”

This weekend get a £10 free bet with Betfair, when you bet £10 on a Same Game Multi on the Premier League.

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