RB Salzburg boss Jesse Marsch has revealed his belief that Chelsea boss Frank Lampard initially didn’t rate Christian Pulisic because he was American, during an interview with MLS Soccer.
Pulisic had a slow start as a Chelsea player, but following his electric performances after the Premier League restart, he is now considered to be the Blues’ best player – and biggest hope for the future.
The American looks as though he can fill the void left by Eden Hazard’s departure to Real Madrid last summer, but it doesn’t appear as though Lampard always had faith he could do it.
Speaking to MLS soccer, RB Salzburg manager Jesse Marsch has claimed that Lampard has reservations about Pulisic, which may well have been due to the winger’s American nationality:
“Even Frank Lampard, when I spoke to him in preseason a year ago now, I was talking to him about having Christian Pulisic and he was kind of like, ‘Yeah, he’s got a lot to learn so we’ll see how he does’. I said to him, ‘Listen, he was at Dortmund, and they had a high level of tactical thinking, of playing, and he was very successful'”
“He was considered one of the best young players in Germany and that’s in a group of players with Timo Werner, Kai Havertz, Joshua Kimmich, these kinds of players. He was in a group with those players, and it’s not just because he was talented but it was because he understood the tactics and understood how to fit in the game and he was developing a real astute way of how to play.”
“I could see right away that Frank Lampard’s idea of Christian Pulisic was shaped a lot by the fact that he was American and not that his football education came a lot from what has happened in Germany. Since then, I think Lampard has learned that Pulisic is a lot better than he gave him credit for.”
Of course, we will never know exactly how the conversation went between the pair, but it seems a little improbable that Pulisic being American would influence Lampard’s opinion of him.
Lampard played with talented players from all over the world during his playing days and managers a vastly multi-cultural squad at Chelsea. Marsch’s comments seem like a bit of a stretch.